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Wiltshire Archaeological 

and Natural History Magazine 

Volume 82 1988 








Published by 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society 

41 Long Street 

Devizes SN10 INS 

Telephone: (0380) 77369 

Registered Charity No 309534 


VOLUME 82 (1988) 

ISSN 0262 6608 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society and authors 1988 

Editor: Kate Fielden 

Hon. Natural History Editor: Marion Browne 

Hon. Local History Editor: John Chandler 

Editorial Assistant: Lorna Haycock 

Change of Title 
The journals issued to volume 69 as parts of The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine (Part A 
Natural History; Part B Archaeology and Local History) were from volumes 70 to 75 published under separate 
titles as The Wiltshire Natural History Magazine and The Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine. With volume 76 the 
magazine reverted to its combined form and title. 

We gratefully acknowledge a special grant from the Marc Fitch Fund, towards the cost of publishing Edward 
Bradby's paper 'The Diary of Thomas Smith of Shaw, 1715-23' in this volume. 

We also acknowledge with thanks a publication grant from English Heritage for Henry Hurst's paper 'Excavations 
at Box Roman Villa, 1967-8' in volume 81 (1987). 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in 
any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior 
permission of the Society and authors. 

Produced for the Society by 

Alan Sutton Publishing Limited, Gloucester 

Set in Plantin by Alan Sutton Publishing Limited 

Printed in Great Britain 




Professor S. Piggott, CBE, FBA, FSA 


Professor S. Piggott, CBE, FBA, FSA 

Mrs CM. Guido, FSA 

Professor W.H. Dowdeswell, MA, FIB 


The Right Hon. The Lord Devlin, PC, FBA 

B.H.C. Sykes, MA 

R.G. Hum 

E.R.A. Sewell, MC 

H.F. Seymour, BA 

Chairman of Council 
E.R.A. Sewell, MC 

Elected Members 

E.L. Bradby, MA (1984) 

Miss S. Rooke (1985) 

C.R. Chippindale, BA, MIFA (1986) 

Mrs P. Slocombe, BA (1986) 
Mrs G. Swanton, BA, Dip. Ad. Ed. (1987) 

F.W. Hanford, MRCS, LRCP (1988) 

P.R. Saunders, BA, FSA, FMA (1988) 

E. Elliott (1984) 

D. Lovibond (1985) 

J.L. Rowland (1986) 

H. F.W. Cory, JP (1987) 

A.J. Lawson, MSc, FSA, MIFA (1987) 

H.A.W. Burl, MA, D. Litt., Ph.D (1988) 

J.F. Phillips (1988) 

Ex-officio Members 

* Mrs G. Swanton, BA, Dip. Ad. Ed. 
M. Fuller, B.Sc. (Eng.) 

* E.L. Bradby, MA 
Mrs H. Rogers, BA 

R.J. Warren, B.Sc, Dip. Ed. 

* F.W. Hanford, MRCS, LRCP 
R.G. Hum 

Mrs J. Friend 

R.C. Hatchwell, FSA 

* also Elected Members 
Nominated Members 

Chairman, Archaeology Committee 

Chairman, Natural History Committee 

Chairman, Library Committee 

Chairman, Amenity & Conservation Committee 

Chairman, Industrial Archaeology Committee 

Chairman, Programme Committee 

Hon. Treasurer 

Hon. Publicity Officer 

Hon. Keeper of Prints and Drawings 

Mrs L. Kinder, J.R. Cordon, Mrs P. Rugg 
J.M.G. Kirkaldy, Ph.D. (Econ.), M.Sc. 
R.L. Pybus, MA, FLA, FCIS, MBIM 
K.H. Rogers, BA, FSA 
P.R. Saunders, BA, FSA, FMA 

Members, Wiltshire County Council 

Member, Kennet District Council 

Director, WCC Library & Museum Service 

Wiltshire County Archivist 

Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum 




Curator (Natural Sciences) 

Assistant Curator 

Sandell Librarian 

Biological Recorder 


Lt. Col. M. Cowan, BA, MCIT, MBIM 

PH. Robinson, Ph.D, FSA 

Miss S. Nash, B.Sc. 

Miss A. Terry, BA 

Mrs P. Colman, FRSA 

Miss C. Appleby M.Sc, B.Sc, FLS 

Miss K.J. Fielden, D.Phil. 


Coves: Structural Enigmas of the Neolithic 


Twelve Wiltshire Round Barrows. Excavations in 1959 and 1961 by F. de M. and H.L. 



Exploratory Excavations of Roman Buildings at Cherhill and Manningford Bruce 


A Wall-painting at St Mary's Church, Lydiard Tregoze, Re-considered 


A Riotous Affray at Salisbury in 1610 


The Diary of Thomas Smith of Shaw, 1715-23 

by EDWARD BRADB Y 1 1 5 

The Stratigraphy of the Cretaceous Succession Along the A36 Warminster Bypass 


Insectivores in Wiltshire: Mole 


Notes 156 

A Romano-British Lead Coffin at Birchanger Farm, Bratton, West Wiltshire by ALAN H. GRAHAM 156 

A Bulla of Raymond de Puy from Devizes by PAUL robinson 157 

A Medieval Seal Matrix of a Commissary of the Lord Pope by ALISON TERRY 159 

Wiltshire and the Revolution of 1688 by LORNA HAYCOCK 160 
Chalk and Cheese: Patterns of Landholding and Religious Nonconformity in Wiltshire, 1739-1850 


Norton Manor: Transformed by Artist's Licence by JUNE BADENI 167 

Winter Storage for Bees by ANNE FOSTER 169 

The Conservation of Unimproved Neutral Grassland in Wiltshire by JEREMY FRASER 172 

Excavation and Fieldwork in Wiltshire, 1987 176 

Wiltshire Archaeological Register for 1986 183 

Reviews 187 

Aubrey Burl . The Stonehenge People (PAUL ASHBEE) 1 87 

D.A. Crowley (ed.). A History of Wiltshire, Volume 13 (K.H. ROGERS) 188 

D.C. Findlay. Soils in Wiltshire 2 (JUSTIN B. DELAIR) 189 

Louis Hatch. Hamptith: Memories of Hamptworth Before the First World War (JANICE MCKEEVER) 190 

Danny Howell. Yesterday's Warminster (JANICE MCKEEVER) 190 

N.D.G. James. Plain Soldiering: A History of the Armed Forces on Salisbury Plain (MICHAEL COWAN) 191 
Malcolm Jones and Patrick Dillon. Dialect in Wiltshire and its Historical, Topographical and Natural 

Science Contexts (NORMAN ROGERS) 1 92 

John le Neve. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857, Volume 6 (Salisbury Diocese), edited by Joyce M. 

Horn (WILLIAM SMITH) 1 95 

Michael Marshman. The Wiltshire Village Book (MICHAEL STRATTON) 196 

Janet H. Stevenson (ed.). The Edington Cartulary, Wiltshire Record Society Volume 42 (1986) 


Robin Tanner. Double Harness, an Autobiography (RICHARD HATCHWELL) 197 

Rodney M. Thomson. William of Malmesbury (WILLIAM SMITH) 199 

Frank West. St Michael's Aldbourne: The Story of a Wiltshire Downland Village Church ( J.H. BETTEY) 200 

Obituaries 202 

Christopher Evelyn Blunt, OBE, FBA 
Naomi Corbyn 
E.G.H. Kempson, MA 
Harry Townsend, BA 
Margaret Waley 

Index 206 


The Society was founded in 1853. Its activities include the promotion of the study of archaeology (including 
industrial archaeology), history, natural history and architecture within the county; the issue of a Magazine, and 
other publications, and the maintenance of a Museum, Library, and Art Gallery. There is a programme of lectures 
and excursions to places of archaeological, historical and scientific interest. The Society also maintains the 
Wiltshire Biological Records Centre. 

The Society's Museum contains important collections relating to the history of man in Wiltshire from earliest 
times to the present day as well as the geology and natural history of the county. It is particularly well known for its 
prehistoric collections. 

The Library contains a comprehensive collection of books, articles, pictures, prints, drawings and photographs 
relating to Wiltshire. The gift of printed material and Wiltshire photographs or other items of local interest will be 
welcomed by the Librarian. 

The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine is the annual journal of the Society and is issued free to 
its members. For information about the availability of back numbers and other publications of the Society, 
application should be made to the Secretary. 

Contributions for the Magazine should be on subjects related to the archaeology, history or natural history of 
Wiltshire. There is no fixed length. Papers, notes and reviews should be typed on one side of a page only, with 
good margins and double spacing. The style for footnotes, references and so on should be that found in this issue. 
The author-date system is preferred for references and footnotes should be avoided unless essential. Contributions 
of article length should be accompanied by a summary of about 100 words. Two copies, one of which is a top copy, 
should be sent to the editor at the Museum, 41 Long Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 INS. A further copy should 
also be retained by the author. The editor and subject editors will be pleased to advise and discuss with intending 
contributors at any state during the preparation of their work. They will also supply notes, if requested, which may 
be helpful in explaining house style and in giving advice on the compilation of references and bibliographies, and 
the preparation of illustrations. 

Proofs: authors will receive galley proofs only. 

Offprints: ten offprints of each article will be given free or shared between joint authors of articles (not notes or 
reviews). Further offprints may be ordered from the printer at galley proof stage, when prices will be indicated. 

Publication by The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society does not imply that this body endorses 
the views expressed; the factual content and the opinions presented herein remain the responsibility of the authors. 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. I-1S 

Coves: Structural Enigmas of the Neolithic* 


Although, since the eighteenth century, the term 'cove' has been used for three-sided megalithic settings such as that at 
Avebury, no corpus or analysis has been made of them. Dating is difficult but it is suggested that coves were a Late 
Neolithic development in the transition from chambered tombs to stone circles, and were a focus for funerary rites. 

'The labourer employed in the work told me that the earth had been examined to the depth of a yard or more, at the foot 
of the cove-stones, to see if there were any evidences of sacrifices having been performed there, but nothing peculiar was 

Joseph Hunter (1829, 6) 


Until the early eighteenth century three gigantic 
sarsens stood inside the North Circle at Avebury in a 
setting like a roofless porch. There was a backstone 
and two sideslabs but in 1713 the northernmost 
sarsen, 5 m high, fell and was broken up. Today the 
two survivors lean emptily, the stone at the south 4.9 
m high and 2.4 m wide, and the awesome backslab 4.4 
x 4.9 m high and wide, 60 tons of cumbersome stone 
dragged from the Marlborough Downs and erected 
over 4000 years ago. 

John Aubrey saw the three stones in 1649 before 
the destruction of the north-west sideslab. In 1663 he 
drew a plan of them (Aubrey 1980, 45). Sixty years 
later William Stukeley gave details of what the setting 
had been like. He also chose the name by which such 
structures have been known since, a cove, 'consisting 
of three stones plac'd with an obtuse angle towards 
each other, and, as it were, upon an ark of a circle 
(Stukeley 1743, 23). It was 'an immense work in the 
centre [of the North Circle] which the old Britons call 
a cove' (ibid., 24). 

Ignoring Stukeley's apparent ability to hold sean- 
ces with the Neolithic dead, it was an apposite choice 
of name, suggesting as it did a cell-like construction. 

There are very few coves, all of them ruined and all 
of them associated with very large stone circles, but 
they have never been considered as a group. To the 
contrary, in recent years they have occasionally been 
conflated with quite different internal features of stone 
circles in a manner that has obscured their origins and 

purpose. This is regrettable because, despite their 
rarity, coves provide some of the best evidence of what 
the great megalithic rings were used for. 


It is becoming clear that if the question of the purpose 
of a stone circle is to be elucidated the answers will 
come not from the ring itself, nor from its usually 
unproductive excavation, but from an understanding 
of the ring's 'apparatus' such as a centre stone, 
internal 'hearth', outlier or avenue. Coves belong with 
this group of features. None of them needs be con- 
temporary with the construction of the ring. Some 
were additions. Others, like the outlying pillar at the 
Rollright Stones (Lambrick 1988, 48), were possibly 
earlier. But their presence helps to clarify what the 
ring was used for, and future research might most 
profitably be spent in examining the origins of such 
associations to megalithic rings. 

A cove is quite distinct from the others. By 
Stukeley's definition it was an upstanding structure, 
open in one direction, usually towards the east. Most 
coves were formed of three tall slabs but this is not 
invariable and in this respect related settings such as 
the horseshoe of trilithons inside Stonehenge's sarsen 
circle (Burl 1987, 212) and the idiosyncratic rectangle 
of stones at Castlerigg 'which has been thought to be 
an adytum' [the innermost part of a temple, a private 
chamber] 'foreshadowing the chancel of a Christian 
church' (Dymond 1880, 50), might be included 
although not in the main group. 

We gratefully acknowledge a special grant from the 
Council for British Archaeology, towards the cost of 
publishing this paper. 










Arbor Low 

Whispering Knights 

Stanton Drew 


Mount Pleasant 

Avebury. North Circle 

Avebury. Beckhampton Avenue 

Avebury. Kennet Avenue 


Figure 1 . Distribution map of coves 


A major difficulty in the analysis of prehistoric struc- 
tures is the question of definition. No ancient archi- 
tect worked to a blueprint and even those monuments 
that appear most similar are all, in reality, slightly 
different. To study them as individual sites, however, 
is unprofitable because the significance of their 
components cannot be tested. The location of a 
recumbent stone, the direction of an outlier, a wide 
gap in a stone circle, a trampled area, a spread of 
charcoal: all these 'features' could be fortuitous, 
offering nothing but guesswork about their meaning, 
if any, to the people who built them. For this reason 
archaeologists search for groups in which the repe- 
tition of a trait from site to site suggests that this was 
intentional. A series of recumbent stones all lying 
within the arc of the midsummer full moon; a collec- 
tion of tall stones at the cardinal points in Cumbrian 
stone circles; tallest stones at the south-west of the 
perimeter in the megalithic rings of Cornwall: it is the 
recurrence of architectural phenomena in many simi- 
lar sites that makes it probable that such features were 
important to the communities that raised the stones. 

There are several legitimate approaches to this 
problem of categorisation. The first is to be all- 
embracing, taking in all apparently cognate sites and 
then sub-dividing them according to their subtle 
differences. This method, although entirely proper, 
has its dangers. Sometimes, in our anxiety to discover 
patterns, we can find ourselves imposing patterns, 
over-elaborating definitions that immediately require 
splitting into category after category to accommodate 
the variety of monuments that happen to exist. 

Studying the ring-cairns of Wales, Lynch (1972) 
ended with no fewer than six classes of stone ring, 
ring-cairn, complex ring-cairn, embanked stone 
circle, cairn circle and kerb circle - to which enclosed 
cremation cemeteries might be added. Equally, with- 
out some arbitrary ratio between the width of the 
bank and the size of the internal area, it is often 
impossible to distinguish between a ring-cairn and an 
enclosed cremation cemetery. Using a similar 
method, Clare (1986), in his study of henges, was 
compelled to subdivide these earthworks into twelve 
sub-types to allow for the architectural caprices of 
prehistoric planners. 

A second approach is to adopt a strict formula that 
omits all but the most narrowly defined of sites. This 
also has its perils. In his own study of henges, 
Harding (1987, 30) decided it was better to follow 
Atkinson's classical, clearcut definition of a henge and 
accept only an earthwork that was roughly circular, 

with a bank, internal ditch and one or more entrances. 
Attractive though this definition was, Harding was 
almost immediately forced to modify it because other- 
wise such a seminal site as Stonehenge with its 
external ditch would have been excluded. 

The solution to this dilemma must be to accept that 
no two monuments are identical even though they 
may possess many features in common. A definition 
should be broad enough to embrace such distinctions. 
To this end a cove may be defined as invariably being: 
upstanding; three-sided; unroofed; and open in one 

Given these criteria the following sites can be 
claimed as unquestioned coves: Avebury North 
Circle, Wiltshire; Beckhampton Avenue, Wiltshire; 
Stanton Drew, Avon; Cairnpapple, West Lothian; 
and Stenness, Orkney. In addition, there was a 
probable cove at Mount Pleasant, Dorset, and a 
possible cove inside the northern circle of Er-Lannic, 
Brittany. As this latter site is now submerged in the 
Gulf of Morbihan, and has never been properly 
planned, it cannot be included in the main group. 
Variations of coves can be considered at Arbor Low, 
Derbyshire; Castlerigg, Cumbria; and Stonehenge, 
Wiltshire. There are also two doubtful sites: the 
Whispering Knights near the Rollright Stones, 
Oxfordshire; and Stukeley's puzzling claim for a cove 
in the Kennet Avenue of Avebury. 

It is this corpus that forms the body of this paper. 
Firmly excluded are the closed rectangles of long 
stones set flush in the ground at the centres of the 
Scottish stone circles of Balbirnie and Stenness: four 
flat slabs like the pithead lining of a filled-in shaft. 
Inside both were signs of burning; charcoal from 
Balbirnie providing an assay of 890 ±80 be (Ritchie 
1974, 6). At Stenness four massive stones 'just pro- 
truding above the natural' (Ritchie 1976, 12) sur- 
rounded an area containing tiny flecks of burnt bone 
and charcoal dated to 2238 + 70 be. 

Apart from their centrality these settings have 
nothing in common with coves. They are best likened 
to the hearths known at Skara Brae a few miles from 
Stenness: enclosures 'four to five feet (1.2 - 1.5 m) 
square, of four narrow slabs like kerb-stones, set on 
edge or laid horizontally' (Childe 1931, 14). Two 
similar fireplaces were discovered inside Lugg henge 
on Saggart Hill near Dublin, 'both enclosed by stones 
set on edge in shallow, narrow trenches' (Kilbride- 
Jones 1950, 317). The interiors of both were burnt 
deep red. 

Clare (1986, 299) has compared these ground-level 
squares at Balbirnie and Stenness wih the 'offering- 
boxes' at Longstone Rath, Co. Kildare; Millin Bay 


Figure 2. The cove in Avebury's North Circle; from the SW 


..-w ►•*•.., 




yMLhr* E (£*■ ««^ j-^i-5- 

A ,^^/«/^-,»/ ; *- '•^ e tt&££*£i£3-\^- i/ *f <-— 


2 (&j- u>t^-' .wHtW JuLdn~y T F FT /^ 

Figure 3. Stukeley's sketch of the Beckhampton cove as it might have been; from the SE. Reproduced by permission of the 

Bodleian Library (Gough Maps 231, fol. 42R) 


ritual site, Co. Down; and Llandegai B henge, 
Gwynedd; and it may be that they were the focal point 
of fire-rituals whose significance is now lost. Whatever 
their purpose they cannot be termed coves, the 
difference being emphasised at Stenness by the fact 
that both types of structure existed alongside each 
other there, the central hearth-like rectangle lying 9 m 
south of the cove, or so-called 'dolmen', whose three 
upright stones were set in concrete in 1907. Ritchie 
(1976, 18) has stressed that the Stenness rectangle is 
'clearly distinct from the three-stone features known 
as 'coves'. . .'. 

Coves have also been compared to the recumbent 
blocks in the stone circles of north-east Scotland 
(Piggott 1948, 113; Grinsell 1956, 2). This now seems 
a mistaken interpretation of those horizontal stones, 
the majority of which do not have a pair of supporting 
stones at right-angles to them. The derivation of these 
recumbents is likely to be found in the entrance stones 
of the Newgrange and Knowth passage-graves of the 
Boyne valley in Co. Meath (Burl 1979b, 20), acting 
like closing-off slabs whereas the essence of a true 
cove is its open nature. 


Coves were of two basic forms. The better-known 
Avebury type was constructed of three vertical slabs 
arranged like an unroofed sentry-box and very like a 
single chamber in a Cotswold-Severn tomb. Such 
coves existed at Stanton Drew and Cairnpapple, and 
variations once stood inside Mount Pleasant and at 
Arbor Low where the stones are now fallen. 

The cove at Stenness was different. There, two 
front slabs side by side and separated by only a narrow 
gap had a third slab set centrally behind them. In plan 
the setting was identical to the projecting sideslabs 
and backstone of a chamber inside an Orcadian stalled 
cairn such as Unstan, H miles west of Stenness. 

Despite their height coves were not spacious, the 
very biggest inside Avebury's North Circle enclosing 
only some 44 sq m (Gray 1935, Plate 29). Two other 
coves, both in Wessex, were of a comparable magni- 
tude: 36 sq m at Mount Pleasant (Wainwright 1979, 
28), and about 22 sq m at the Beckhampton cove, 
Avebury (Stukeley 1724, 244b). Other coves were 
much smaller: 9.3 sq m at Stanton Drew (Dymond 

Figure. 4. The Stenness cove with its fallen backstone; from the N 


Figure 5. Entrance to the end-cell inside Unstan stalled 
cairn, showing its resemblance to the Stenness cove 

1896, 40); 4.7 sq m at Arbor Low (Gray 1903, Plate 
38); 3.4 sq m at Cairnpapple (Piggott 1948, Fig. 5); 
and a mere 2.1 sq m at Stenness (Ritchie 1976, 19). 


It is possible that originally coves were free-standing 
monuments. Neither the Beckhampton cove nor its 
counterpart at Stanton Drew ever stood inside a stone 
circle, and the cove at Cairnpapple, erected on a hill 
with extensive views to east and west, probably stood 
there long before a circle-henge was constructed on 
the site. The Whispering Knights, suggested by 
Grinsell (1956, 2), as a cove, are a full 400 m east of 
the Rollright Stones circle (Lambrick 1988, Fig. 2). 
It may be that the North Circle cove at Avebury 
was the first structure to be raised there although this 
suggestion is weakened by the recognition that its 
midpoint lay very close to the exact centre of a ring 
nearly 100 m in diameter (Burl 1979a, 151). The cove 
at Stenness, however, is far from central, and if there 
were a cove at Er-Lannic (le Rouzic, 1930, Fig. 1) it 
would be at least 28 m from the middle of the north 
circle. At Arbor Low the cove, although on the major 

axis, was nearly 4 m south-east of the centre. Two of 
its fallen stones were the tallest on the site and, 
standing where they did, on a flat-topped hill 366 m 
above sea-level, they, like the Cairnpapple cove, may 
have been raised in this conspicuous situation as a 
simple megalith long before the circle-henge. 

But whether prior to, contemporary with, or subse- 
quent to the circle all of them were associated with 
some of the largest megalithic rings in western 
Europe: Stanton Drew, 113.4 m in diameter; 
Avebury North Circle, 97.6 m; Er-Lannic, 65.8 x 
50.2 m; Arbor Low, 41.5 x 37.2 m; Mount Pleasant, 
whose outer, timber ring was 38 m across; Cairnpap- 
ple, 35.1 x 28 m; and, perhaps, the Rollright Stones, 
with a diameter of 31.1 m. 

The mean internal area of these vast rings, some 
2385 sq m is over nine times that of the average stone 
circle (Burl 1976, 40). Given the likelihood that the 
bigger the ring the greater the number of people who 
used it, it is arguable that coves were put up in regions 
of dense populations and were, themselves, important 
ritual centres. 


It is improbable, however, that the rites involved any 
accurate astronomical ceremony. Coves, with their broad 
backstones and relatively short sideslabs did not offer a 
restricted view of the horizon. Nor is there any sign of a 
manmade marker as a foresight for the observer. Lock- 
yer ( 1909, 37) considered coves 'to be partially protected 
observing places' and a form of observatory for 
astronomer priests (ibid., 316) but his data are not 
convincing. Both the Avebury North Circle and the 
Beckhampton cove he thought were 'oriented to the May 
sunrise . . . probably closely associated in the May 
ceremonials' (ibid., 354) but the present writer's 
fieldwork indicated that what alignment there was in the 
Beckhampton cove was roughly towards midwinter 
sunrise (Burl 1979a, 255, Note 2). The North Circle 
cove, if directed towards anything, looked towards the 
major northern moonrise (ibid., 158). 

It is not practicable with such crude structures, 
whose orientations range from north-east to south- 
east, to define any alignment in them to more than 
about ±5°. Coves were not observing stations for 
astronomer priests. It may be that a prehistoric 
sky-watcher did look towards a landmark in line with 
a solar, lunar or stellar phenomenon. If so, the position 
is irrecoverable because it is now only one of many 
other skyline features. Some of these may, by chance, 
be in line with other celestial events, offering today's 
researcher a multitude of choices any one of which, or 



none of which, may have been the prehistoric target. 
Despite Stukeley's comment (1743, 24) that 'this 
cove of the northern temple . . . opens pretty exactly 
north-east as at Stonehenge', there is no neat sightline 
in the Avebury North Circle cove. Its sideslabs permit 
an observer a 'window' no less than 78° wide, nearly a 
quarter of the skyline from about 7° to 85°. Such a 
panorama would have encompassed the risings of the 
midsummer, May Day and equinoctial suns; the 
major and minor northern moonrises; and the risings 
of at least seven bright stars: Altair, Capella, Deneb, 
Pollux, Procyon, Spica, and Polaris, the North Star, 
which, in 2500 BC, was rising some 20° from True 
North. So far from being an observatory a cove was 
more like a planetarium. 


Coves are to be found only in regions of long burial 
mounds containing rectangular chambers, and it is 
these cells that may have been the prototypes for the 
later, open-air structures under consideration. 

Near Avebury were such megalithic tombs as West 
Kennet, Manton, Shelving Stone, Lanhill, Lugbury 
and the Devil's Den, all with simple, squarish cham- 
bers. With the removal of the capstone these would 
have exactly resembled coves. The same is true at 
Stanton Drew where in the surrounding hills were 
long barrows such as Fairy's Toot and Felton Hill. 
Arbor Low lies centrally to a group of chambered 
tombs: Five Wells, Minninglow and Green Low 
among them (Manby 1958). 

At least five Clyde long chambered tombs existed 
within 30 miles of Cairn papple, ruinous but with the 
rectangular chambers of Burngrange, Lanark (Hen- 
shall 1972, 459) and the Lang Cairn, Dunbarton 
(ibid., 427) still visible. On the Orkney mainland with 
its preponderance of Maes Howe-type passage-graves 
the similarity of the end-cells in the Unstan stalled 
cairn (Henshall 1963, 239) has already been noted. 
And if there were a cove in the north circle of 
Er-Lannic then it would stand less than half a mile 
south of the rectangular chamber of Gavr'inis passage- 

The derivation of the Mount Pleasant variant cove 
is more equivocal. This stood at the middle of the site 
of a dismantled circular timber structure of five 
concentric rings of posts broken by corridors at north, 
east, south and west. Possibly roofed, this setting has 
been likened to a North American Indian council 
house (Wainwright 1979, 230). Whatever it was, the 
replacement of this large building by a rectangular 
stone setting no more than 6 m across implies a 

change of function. With the presence of the megali- 
thic tomb of the Grey Mare and Her Colts with its 
rectangular end-chamber only 8 miles to the west, and 
with the Wor earthen long barrow, covering a known 
rectangular wooden mortuary enclosure, some 25 
miles north-east, and with other timber rectangular 
mortuary houses under earthen long barrows recog- 
nised in Wessex (Ashbee 1970, 50-1; Burl 1987, 23-5) 
it is possible that at Mount Pleasant, as with other 
coves, the stone setting was a replica of those early 
Neolithic timber structures. 

No cove is known amongst the concentrations of 
passage-graves with circular central chambers such as 
the Clava enclave of the Inverness region. Coves exist 
only where there were earlier rectangular chambers 
and the resemblance of coves to these burial places is 
very strong. In the absence of a persuasive alternative, 
therefore, it is feasible that coves were free-standing 
versions of those chambers. In appearance the two 
structures are indistinguishable. 

A remarkable illustration of this comes from a 
drawing (Stukeley 1776, 83) of the Meini-gwyr circle- 
henge in Dyfed [Carmarthen]. It shows the stone 
circle, adding that there is a 'kiswaen 200 paces off 
this way'. Had it stood on its own the 'kiswaen' would 
certainly be taken for a cove but, in reality, its stones 
were the damaged remains of the chamber in the Pare 
Sanau tomb (RCAHM-Carmarthen, 112, No. 321). 
Locally, the site was known as 'yr allor' (the altar). In 
the early part of this century the chamber consisted of 
a long but prostrate backstone and two sideslabs 
respectively 1.7 and 1.6 m high. Now destroyed, the 
site must have been almost identical to the cove at 
Stanton Drew. In the same way the three-stone 
setting at Kerdanno, Lestriguiou, in Brittany, is also 
known to be the remnants of a square-chambered long 
passage-grave (Burl 1985, 59). 

The difficulty of knowing whether one is looking at 
a cove or an uncovered megalithic chamber is under- 
lined by the controversy over the Whispering Knights 
in Oxfordshire. Here, not far from the Rollright 
Stones circle, four standing stones form a rectangle, 
the two tallest flanking a blocking stone at the south- 
east. A big slab lies at the north corner. 'Grinsell's 
suggestion that they were a "cove" has not finally been 
refuted' wrote Lambrick (1983, 36) who excavated 
there in the course of his fieldwork in the area. 

Recalling his words about the 'kiswaen' near Meini- 
gwyr, it is interesting that in describing the Whisper- 
ing Knights, Stukeley should state, 'tis what the old 
Britons call a kist vaen or stone chest' (1743, 12), and 
perceptively go on to compare the structure with the 
Shelving Stone tomb, now destroyed, near Avebury 


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Larrnarat/n/hue ■ 

/.,,.■/,//, /.;, 
:l fi a urns 

("cTui- KVet- 

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stvnt'j sfiiniAnj 
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Figure 6. Stukeley's sketch of the Meini-gwyr circle-henge and the adjoining 'kiswaen' 

(Barker 1985, 16-17, 30), and with Cornish 'Quoits' 
or portal-dolmens. 

That the Whispering Knights are the denuded 
remains of a portal-dolmen is rendered likely by the 
discovery there in 1925 of human bone (Ravenhill 
1926, 29). That there should be any debate about the 
type of monument it once was demonstrates the close 
likeness between a stone-built burial chamber and a 

Without firm dating evidence the age of coves must 
remain indefinite but it is feasible that these rare 
structures belonged to the period of transition 
between the end of megalithic tomb building and the 
development of large, open-air ritual enclosures. 
From this viewpoint, they would be erected for the 
needs of groups too large to be accommodated inside 

the chambers of a long mound but whose beliefs 
contained a lingering adherence to funerary tradi- 



Despite investigations at Arbor Low, at both the 
Avebury sites, Cairnpapple, Mount Pleasant, Stanton 
Drew and Stenness, very little has been discovered to 
explain the purpose of coves. Ironically, some three 
hundred years ago John Aubrey may have rejected the 
best opportunity to recover information. 

In 1663, at Avebury's North Circle cove, he 
disobeyed Charles II. 'His Majestie commanded me to 
digge at the bottom of the stones ... to try if I could 
find any humane bones but I did not doe it' (Aubrey 


Figure 7. The cove at Stanton Drew; from the SE 

1980, 34). Fifty years later the north-west sideslab fell 
forwards onto the centre of the cove. Wanting sarsen 
to build houses in the village, men dug a long pit 
under the greater part of the stone, effectively 
destroying what archaeological evidence there was. 
Brushwood was ignited in the cavity and when the 
slab became hot cold water was thrown onto it, 
shattering it into manageable fragments. 

Early in the nineteenth century, unaware of this 
destruction, Henry Browne excavated in front of the 
backstone. 'Before the central one . . . was placed the 
stone on which the sacrifices were burnt. This I 
ascertained by digging, the place still being apparent 
where it lay, but now filled up with rubbish. This 
stone before which it was placed is evidently marked 
by the action of the fire of the sacrifices' (Browne, H. 
1867, 34). Unknowingly, he had chanced upon the 
results of eighteenth century burning rather than 
prehistoric ritual. Others also may have dug there. In 
1829 Joseph Hunter was told by a farmhand that 
though he had 'examined to the depth of a yard or 
more at the front of the cove-stones . . . nothing 
peculiar was observed' (Hunter 1829, 6). 

In the autumn of 1865 the unsuspecting Revd. A.C. 
Smith dug 'four large holes' in the same area finding 
packing-stones, broken sarsen, charred material, 
burnt straw, and also 'a good deal of British pottery, 
and many animal bones; sheep, horse, ox and dog, 
but no human bones whatsoever' (Smith, A.C. 1867, 
211). It was Gray's opinion (1935, 103) that the 
sherds, like those later found by Smith in 1881, were 
post-Roman, and mostly Norman, dumped there 
when mediaeval settlement was extending into the 

Excavations elsewhere have been no more produc- 
tive. To the contrary, they have sometimes been 
positively misleading about the people who had put 
up the coves. Early in the eighteenth century the west 
sarsen of the Beckhampton cove 'fell down & a fflfyii 
bones was found f44H ^ (Stukeley 1724, 244b). The 
backslab was already prostrate, and shortly afterwards 
both stones were broken up. 'Adam', the surviving 
eastern sideslab, fell in 1911 and in the following year 
Maud Cunnington supervised its re-erection. Apart 
from the expected packing-stones the only discoveries 
were those of a decayed skeleton, and the sherds of 



two beakers, a Northern/Middle Rhine and an 
indeterminate pot (Burl 1979a, 250, Note 32). Finds 
such as these led to the belief that it was Beaker 
communities who had built stone circles but this is 
now known to be wrong. The Beckhampton burials 
were almost certainly secondary, interred there when 
the cove was possibly already centuries old. 

The digging of a few holes up to a metre deep inside 
the cove at Stanton Drew in 1894 unearthed merely a 
few pieces of breccia and white sandstone and a 
fragment of a mediaeval tile from the adjacent church. 
No charcoal or signs of fire were noticed (Dymond 
1896, 13). 

Two small flints were the only artefacts recovered 
in 1901 from the Arbor Low cove perhaps previously 
investigated by Bateman (Gray 1903, 479- 81). Close 
to the fallen north-east stone, but outside the limits of 
the cove, was an extended inhumation in a shallow, 
stone-lined grave. The skeleton may have been rebu- 
ried for many of its bones, tibiae, fibulae, condyles of 
the femora, patellae, digits of hands and feet, were 
missing. There were no grave-goods and, lying where 
it did, it is questionable whether the interment 
belonged to the primary use of the cove. 

Only the three stoneholes, 'once containing massive 
uprights', were preserved of the Cairnpapple cove 
which Piggott (1948, 78) believed to be of the same 
period as a semi-trapezoidal arrangement of seven 
holes to its east. These had human cremated bones 
either in or alongside them. Pieces of two burnt bone 
pins, the cutting-edges of a Group VI and a Group VII 
stone axe, and two sherds of Neolithic pottery (ibid., 
81) suggest that the cremations were of a Late Neoli- 
thic, probable grooved ware horizon. Such a time 
would be in keeping with the proposed megalithic 
tomb/openair circular enclosure transition. 

Nothing was found in the Stenness cove, two of 
whose stones had been set in concrete in 1907 with the 
third resting on a bed of the same material (Ritchie 
1976, 14). Sherds of a small grooved ware pot lying 
near the causewayed terminal of the circle-henge's 
ditch, and an assay of 2238±70 be from charcoal in 
the central 'hearth', again indicate a general Late 
Neolithic date for the monument, but the excavator 
stressed that with so many structures at Stenness 'It is 
not likely that all these features are contemporary' 

Finally, at Mount Pleasant, the postulated cove had 
been constructed following the careful dismantlement 
of five concentric post-circles, the largest 38 m across, 
inside a surrounding ditch. The replacement consis- 
ted of a small rectangular setting, open to the south- 
south-west, of pits and sarsen monoliths, with two 

further pits near the ditch to the east and west, and 
extra sarsens to the north and west. Charcoal from the 
weathered ditch in whose upper layers there were 
fresh sarsen flakes provided an assay of 1680 ±60 be. 
'The sudden appearance of such large quantities of 
knapped sarsen flakes is related to the erection of the 
stone monoliths within the ditch' (Wainwright 1979, 
28). 'Numerous sherds of Beaker pottery' from the 
same layer, however, of All-Over-Corded, European, 
Wessex/Middle Rhine and Northern/Middle Rhine 
types (ibid., 86-7) are somewhat at variance with the 
radiocarbon 'date' which may be deceptively late. The 
occurrence, also, in several layers of the ditch, of 
some grooved ware intimates that the cove may be 
rather earlier than the C-14 determination implies. 

No excavation was conducted at the possible Er- 
Lannic cove but the presence of Conguel ware in the 
north circle again indicates a Late Neolithic time of 
construction (Giot et al. 1979, 413; Burl 1985, 111). 

Unsatisfactory though the results are there has been 
sufficient digging in coves to demonstrate that they 
were not burial places. Neither did they receive any 
deposit recoverable today. Nor did fires burn there. 
The tenuous evidence of loosely associated artefacts 
and of radio-carbon assays do point to a floruit during 
the Late Neolithic with connections, at least in Scot- 
land at Cairnpapple and Stenness, with grooved ware; 
with early beakers, together with some grooved ware, 
at Mount Pleasant; and with native Mortlake pottery 
at Avebury (Burl 1979a, 118-19, 176). 

It is unlikely that further excavations at these 
ruined structures will refine our chronological under- 
standing of them. 


The question that must be asked but which will 
probably never be fully answered is what the purpose 
of a cove was. We cannot even be sure of how a 
megalithic tomb's chamber was finally used before its 
abandonment. It is reasonable to assume, however, 
from the close physical similarity between chambers 
and coves, that the rites performed in them were akin 
to each other. 

'The parallel that suggests itself is that of the "false 
portals" of so many Neolithic chambered tombs .... 
It seems just possible that the cove monuments may 
represent ritual portals, standing alone from any cairn 
or burial chamber but preserving some significance or 
funerary function' (Piggott 1948, 113-14). 

It does seem likely that the essential function of a 
cove was to act as a focus for funerary activities 
observed by a great number of onlookers. The 



involvement of so many demanded space which the 
open nature of coves afforded. It also provided social 
cohesion by permitting the whole community to 
participate, even if only as spectators, in the cere- 
monies performed there. 

Constructed during times of change (Burgess 1980, 
45; Bradley 1984, 38; Darvill 1987, 75), the mutual 
likeness between chambers and coves may have been 
an attempt to stress that traditional forms were endur- 
ing and that society was stable. There are other 
examples of this emphasis on continuity such as 'the 
incorporation of ancestral, or even outmoded, archi- 
tectural devices within a monument. The false portals 
of lateral-chambered cairns in the Severn-Cotswold 
group are a specific reproduction of the frontal aspects 
of portal-dolmens' (Kinnes 1981, 85). Coves may have 
served the same purpose, visual statements that 
nothing had changed even in times of social 

It is noticeable that Avebury's Beckhampton cove 
was very close to the South Street earthen long barrow 
and the Longstones chambered tomb; that the Stan- 
ton Drew cove was near several megahthic tombs; and 
that the cove at Arbor Low was at the centre of a ring 
of Peak District long burial mounds (Burl 1981, 94). 
Geographically, coves became the new foci for com- 
munal funerary rites. 

It does not follow from this that coves acted solely 
as centres for burial rituals. This may have been the 
major one of several differing roles for which coves 
were adapted just as, in their final years, late cham- 
bered mounds appear to have been more temples than 

A cove was probably as much for the living as the 
dead, the 'ghost' of a traditional tomb-chamber and a 
medium for the living to intercede with the world of 
the dead. The evidence will never be more than 
exiguous. Whatever the ceremonies were they left no 
physical trace, perhaps being no more than mimes of 
bringing corpses to the 'chamber', performing rituals 
around them, and then taking the body to another 
place for the protracted rites of passage and final 
interment. Despite their apparent intimate connec- 
tion with ceremonies of death, it does not necessarily 
mean that coves were monuments for the dead. 
'Symbolically, death is often associated with rebirth 
and therefore life: ritual is often concerned with the 
synthesis of irreconcileables and with attempts to 
solve paradoxes' (Barnatt 1982, 55). 

It should be asked, if coves were skeletal replicas of 
the chambers of long barrows in Wessex, why there 
were no coves in other regions of long mounds such as 
south-west Scotland and north-east Ireland. Seeming- 

ly, the answer is that coves were only one of several 
architectural responses to the problem of providing 
space for a large number of people in monuments 
which traditionally could accommodate only a few. 
The ultimate solution would be to construct vast 
open-air centres such as henges and stone circles. 
Before these came coves, the old enclosed and 
cramped chambers freed of their mounds and 
capstones and taken into the open. 

Elsewhere, in Scotland and Ireland, people reacted 
differently. They continued with their rituals at 
chambered tombs but added deep, crescentic fore- 
courts to them (Scott 1979, 189) where ceremonies 
could be held outside rather than within the tomb 
itself. The elaborate facades of Cairnholy and 
Achnagoul in south-western Scotland; of 
Ballymacdermot and Annaghmare in north-eastern 
Ireland; and of Cashtal yn Ard on the Isle of Man, 
were the counterparts of coves, spacious U-shaped 
forecourts capable of holding many people. 

In the context of a discussion of unenclosed, cham- 
berlike structures it may be possible to include as cove 
variants such singular constructions as the rectangle 
of stones inside the Castlerigg circle near Keswick, 
and the horseshoe of trilithons inside Stonehenge. 

Castlerigg, which is sometimes wrongly called the 
'Carles' from a misreading of 'Carsles' (Stukeley 1776, 
48), contains a unique feature inside its ring. Attached 
to its south-east arc ten low stones form a rectangle 
measuring 6.7 x 3.4 m and lying on a WSW-ENE 
axis. The three tallest stones create a rudimentary 
faqade on the ring's perimeter. There is, however, no 
distinctive gap there and the peculiar setting cannot 
be included in the main corpus of coves. Neverthe- 
less, like them, it may have been an uncovered 
representation of a burial chamber. Thirty miles to 
the east, at Raiset Pike near Crosby Garrett, a long 
barrow covered a rectangular limestone-edged trench 
that was comparable in size and shape to the 
Castlerigg rectangle. The shapes of chambers inside 
other Cumbrian megalithic cairns such as the Currick 
and Sampson's Bratfull are not known. 

The Castlerigg rectangle, although unique today, 
may have had a partner. The stone circle of Brats Hill 
a few miles south-west of Keswick was reputed to 
have contained another of these possible cove vari- 
ants. A nineteenth-century report speaks of 'a parallel 
group of stones' inside the ring, 'similar to that in the 
Keswick circle' (Williams 1856, 225). No trace of it 
survives today. 

Even more questionable is the status of the 
horseshoe-shaped setting of trilithons inside the 
sarsen circle of Stonehenge's last phase. There, five 



monstrous pairs of standing stones surmounted by 
lintels, the trilithons, stand in an arrangement like a 
gigantic U open to the north-east. Although other 
megalithic horseshoes are known in Brittany (Burl 
1985, 173) and in Scotland, notably at Achavanich in 
Caithness, their derivation, date and purpose remain 
obscure. It is believed that the U-shaped setting of 
stones inside the Croft Moraig stone circle preceded 
the ring (Piggott and Simpson 1971, 6-8) where an 
earlier timber building may have been a mortuary 
house (Clare 1986, 300). A similar suggestion has 
been made for Stonehenge (Burl 1987, 49). Yet even 
though funerary associations have been proposed for 
both sites it would be overstretching the evidence to 
claim, with certainty, that either the Croft Moraig 
'horseshoe' or that at Stonehenge were alternative 
versions of coves. 

Coves will probably continue to tantalise us, 
offering hints that will never completely satisfy our 
curiosity. 'I have often times admir'd and been 
astonish'd at its extravagent magnitude and majesty' 
wrote Stukeley. To him, Avebury's great North 
Circle cove showed 'the Druids aversion to idolatry, 
expressing the reality of the divine presence there, 
and at the same time its invisibility' (Stukeley 1743, 
24). Regrettably, the complete truth about their 
function is also invisible. 

Coves may remain enigmas, although not complete 
mysteries. One may end discussion of them by 
agreeing with Sir Thomas Browne. 'Time which 
antiquates antiquities, and hath an art to make dust of 
all things, hath yet spared these minor monuments' 
(Browne, T. 1658, 131). 


1. Arbor Low, Derbyshire, 5 miles SW of Bakewell 
(SK 160636) 

Variant cove (Figure 8A) 

The site is a circle-henge with a variant cove inside 
it. The cove consists of two large fallen stones and 
six smaller ones. The long NW stone has fallen 
outwards to the N. It measures 4.3 x 1.8 m. The SE 
stone opposite has fallen outwards to the S. It is 
broken but measures 4.0 x 2.6 m at its widest. 
Midway between their bases and just to the NE is a 
low slab on edge. A fragment of it may lie immedi- 
ately to its NE. Three very small stones protrude 
from the earth in a convex arc just to the SW of the 
two large stones. The limestones of the cove did not 
come from the ditch but from a source elsewhere 
(Bemrose 1904, 78). 

Excavation in 1901 (Gray 1903, 479-81, 492, 495) 

recovered a flint flake by the SE stone and another, 
mixed with Victorian sherds, by the stone opposite. 
In a shallow grave just E of the stones an adult male 
skeleton lay extended, head to the SSE, with the ends 
of its legs almost touching the low slab. 

Barnatt (1978, 78-9) has suggested that the original 
arrangement was 'probably a square with 2 very large 
stones in the centres of opposite sides facing the 
entrances . . .' If, instead, the setting had been an 
imitation of a Peak District tomb-chamber then the 
slab on edge could be seen as a septal or entrance 
stone like the sills known in the Green Low cham- 
bered tomb (Manby 1965, 4, 8) and in the Minnin- 
glow chambers (Manby 1958, 32). 

If the 'septal slab' stood at its open end then the 
cove faced 40° ±5°. Lewis (1903, 134) was of the 
opinion that the setting probably faced c.50° towards 
the May Day or Beltane sunrise. 

MAIN REFERENCES: Gray 1903, 463-5, 479-81, 495; 
Barnatt 1978, 74-87; Thompson 1963. 

2. Avebury, North Circle, Wiltshire, 6 miles W of 
Marlborough (SU 103700) 
Cove (Figure 8B) 

This, the most famous of the coves, stands in the 
northern circle inside the huge earthwork enclosure. 
It still has two of its three stones standing. The 
backstone measures 4.4 m high, 4.9 m wide and is 1.2 
m thick. The SE sideslab, at right-angles to it, is 4.9 x 
2.4 m x 70 cm thick. The missing NW stone, which 
fell and was broken up in 1713, is recorded as 
measuring 6.4 m long x 2.4 m x 60 cm. 

The stones are local sarsen from the upper slopes of 
the Marlborough Downs. Their prehistoric builders 
set the smoother, unweathered sides facing inwards to 
create a pleasing effect just as they did with the 
surrounding circle-stones (Burl 1979a, 153). 

Various excavations in the eighteenth and nine- 
teenth centuries recovered nothing of prehistoric 

The cove faces 40° ±5°, possibly towards the major 
northern moonrise. In 1881 the SE stone was leaning 
inwards 70 cm from the vertical and is at the same 
angle today; but the backstone, inclining 38 cm in 
1881 is now 58 cm out of true (Smith, I. 1965, 

Stukeley wrote that the stones were known as 
'the devil's brand-irons, from their extravagent 
bulk and chimney-like form' (Stukeley 1743, 

MAIN REFERENCES: Aubrey 1980, 34, 45; Browne, 
H. 1867, 34; Gray 1935, 102-3, 108; Smith, A. 1867, 
210-14; Smith, I. 1965, 175, 183, 201- 2; Stukeley 1743, 




^r Stone CJ Stonehole 

01 23456789 10 

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V / 




^^ ^ 





§ • 





Figure 8. Plans of coves 

A. Arbor Low 

B. Avebury. North Circle 

C. Cairnpapple 

D. Castlerigg 

E. Mount Pleasant 

F. Stanton Drew 

G. Stenness 



3. Avebury, Beckhampton Avenue, Wiltshire, :,' mile 
WSW of Avebury (SU 089693) 


It is not possible to provide a plan of this cove because 
only one stone, a sideslab popularly known as 'Adam', 
survives. Originally, the sideslabs, unlike those in the 
North Circle, were set not at right-angles but 
obliquely to the backstone rather like a hospital 
screen. As usual, their smoother faces were set 

'Adam' was the eastern slab. Today it stands 29 m 
WSW of 'Eve', the sole survivor of the Beckhampton 
Avenue. It is possible that when the avenue was 
constructed its builders deliberately incorporated the 
cove, using the backstone as part of the avenue. In the 
same way the Heel Stone at Stonehenge was included 
in the later avenue there (Burl 1979a, 188). 

'Adam' measures 4,9x3.3x 1.2 m and weighs 62 
tons according to Cunnington (1914, 6). It is com- 
posed of sarsen from the Marlborough Downs. After 
its fall in 1911 it was re-erected in 1912 when a 
middle-aged male skeleton and Northern/Middle 
Rhine and other beaker sherds were discovered. 
Stukeley, in 1723, said that bones had been found 
there but later amended this to suggest that the 
'bones' were fossils embedded in the stones. 

The cove would have faced 128°±5° towards a low 
rise, and was possibly aligned on the midwinter 

In the seventeenth century the cove was known as 
the Devil's Quoits. 

MAIN REFERENCES: Burl 1979a, 44, 52, 68-9, 188, 191, 
239; Cunnington 1914, 1-7; Long 1858, 13; Smith, I. 1965, 
217; Stukeley 1724, 244b; 1743, 35-6, Tab. 24. 

4. Avebury, Kennet Avenue, Wiltshire, \ mile SE of 
Avebury's south entrance (SU 100687) 

A very doubtful cove 

This 'site' is almost certainly a confusion with the 

Beckhampton cove. 

In the seventeenth century John Aubrey (1982, 
823) wrote 'Southward from Aubury, in the ploughed 
field - neer Kynnet doe stand three huge upright 
stones perpendicularly, like the three stones at Aubury 
in fig . . they are called the Devill's Coytes' . Above the 
entry there is a sketch showing three tall, thin rect- 
angular pillars with the sideslabs splaying outwards 
from the stone at the back. 

Stukeley (1724, 3) wrote, 'as soon as I saw longston 
cove and found it the interval of 50 stones from Aubury 
I conjecturd there must have been another such at 
Kennet avenue'. Counting the stones there, many 
more than are visible today, he came upon a gap in the 
avenue and surmised that a cove had stood there at the 

top of the rise south of where the avenue now ends 
and where two stones still straddle the road. From his 
sketch (1743, Table 22) the cove would have stood 
alongside the lane, at about SU 100687, on a line 
between Silbury Hill and the disc barrow on Avebury 
Down at SU 115689. 

Aubrey's words show that he was not describing the 
North Circle cove and, at first sight, his confident 
statement that the cove was south of Avebury and near 
the river Kennet does suggest that a covelike structure 
had existed in the Kennet Avenue. The fact that he did 
not show it in his plan of the avenue (Aubrey 1980, 
48-9) is not proof of an error because he did not show 
any part of the Beckhampton Avenue either. 

Two matters, however, indicate that his memory 
was faulty, as it was when he wrote that he 'well- 
remembered' that there had been a ditch around the 
Sanctuary stone circle (Aubrey 1980, 50). His sketch 
with its angled sidestones is very reminiscent of the 
Beckhampton cove. And the name he gave the stones, 
the Devil's Quoits, is the name ascribed to the 
Beckhampton cove by Twining (1723) only a few 
years later. In the absence of firm evidence to the 
contrary it must be assumed that Aubrey had seen the 
Beckhampton cove but later forgot its whereabouts. 
MAIN REFERENCES: Aubrey 1982, 823; Stukeley 1724, 3; 
1743, 42. 

5. Cairnpapple, West Lothian, 1', miles ESE of 

Torphichen (NS 987717) 

Cove (Figure 8C) 

Nothing remains of this setting except for its re-used 

stoneholes now displayed inside the reconstructed 

cairn that later covered them. 

Excavated in 1947-1948, three large stoneholes were 
found around three sides of a rectangle open to the 
ENE. The biggest, at the N, was 2.4 m long and 1 m 
wide and was considered to have held a massive stone. 
Its two partners had also supported heavy pillars. The 
interior of the structure was about 2 m across. 

The cove faced a 12 m long line of four pits 
arranged NNW-SSE, from each end of which were 
further pits in short, outwardly-angled lines extend- 
ing respectively WNW and SW. Human cremated 
bone lay in and near most of the pits. Finds associated 
with them suggested they belonged to the Late Neoli- 
thic, grooved ware period. 

The cove was later dismantled and one of its holes 
was re-used for a Beaker burial by whose head a small 
stone was erected. 

The bearing of the cove was 78° ±5°, of little 
astronomical significance. 
MAIN REFERENCE: Piggott 1948. 



6. Castlerigg, Cumbria, H miles E of Keswick (NY 

Doubtful cove (Figure 8D) 

Formed of ten low stones, three sides of a rectangle, 
6.7 x 3.4 m on a WSW-ENE axis, stand inside the 
stone circle, at its SE. The fourth side, of three more 
stones, two of them up to 1.2 m high, stands on the 
perimeter of the ring. It is a setting unique to 
Castlerigg. A late nineteenth century excavation 
(Dover 1882, 505) found a pit at the cove's western 
end. It contained some burnt wood or charcoal. 

Clare (1975, 12) has suggested that the nearest 
parallels to this peculiar structure are to be found 'in 
the henges of Stenness and Cairnpapple'. 

Alexander Thom (1966, 22, 35) considered that the 
rectangle might have been aligned on the rising of the 
bright star Altair, (a Aquilae), an event which would 
have occurred around 2550 BC. 

With the exception of Raiset Pike little is known 
about the chambers of megalithic tombs in Cumbria. 
Whether the Castlerigg rectangle is related to them is 
therefore unclear. 
MAIN REFERENCE: Dymond 1880, 50. 

7. Er-Lannic, Morbihan, Brittany, in the Gulf of 
Morbihan, H km SSW of Larmor-Baden (206.55/ 
298.50, Carte Topographique 1:25,000., 0921 Ouest) 
Doubtful cove. 

Little can be said about this setting which sup- 
posedly stands inside a stone circle which is juxta- 
posed against a U-shaped setting to its south. This 
megalithic 'horseshoe' and one third of its partner to 
the north are submerged in the Gulf. The 'cove' also 
lies beneath the water and has never been examined. 

The structure is shown on le Rouzic's plan (1930, 4) 
as two sideslabs at right-angles to a backstone with a 
fourth stone alongside the eastern stone. The setting is 
open to the NNW. Le Rouzic's plan, however, is a 
poor one and as he failed to describe the setting in his 
report its status must remain very uncertain. The 
'cove' is not shown in the plan of Er-Lannic in 
Kendrick (1927, 185), and le Rouzic's reconstruction 
of the circle has been strongly criticised (Giot et al. 
1979, 412). It would be unwise in the present paper to 
do more than record the possible presence of a 
covelike structure at Er-Lannic. 

MAIN REFERENCES: le Rouzic 1930; Giot el al. 1979; 
Burl 1976, 130- 6. 

8. Mount Pleasant, Dorset, H miles E of Dorchester 

(SY 710899) 

Cove (Figure 8E) 

Nothing can now be seen of this setting which was 

destroyed in the first century BC (Wainwright 1979, 

230). Following the dismantling of five concentric 
timber rings, a rectangular setting, 6 m square, was 
laid out at the centre of the former rings. It consisted 
of four pits at its corners with standing sarsens, 
obtained locally, on its W, N and E sides. The stones 
were shaped in situ. 

Unusually, the cove was open to the SSW. Its 
entrance did not respect the opening in an encircling 
palisade or the entrance of the enormous Mount 
Pleasant earthwork enclosure in which it stood. 

Dates from charcoal and antler associated with the 
palisade of 1695±43 be and 1687163 be are in 
agreement with the assay of 1680160 be obtained 
from charcoal in the ditch surrounding the cove. The 
ditch contained sarsen flakes from the cove stones. An 
average 'date' of 1687 be, however, seems difficult to 
reconcile with the 783 early beaker sherds recovered 
from the secondary silts of the ditch (Longworth, in 
Wainwright 1979, 76). 

MAIN REFERENCES: Wainwright 1979, 9-10, 23-8, 48, 
75-6, 86-7, 230-31. 

9. Stanton Drew, Avon (Somerset), 6 miles S of 
Bristol (SU 597631) 
Cove (Figure 8F) 

The cove is one element of a megalithic complex 
consisting of a great stone circle, two smaller rings, 
two avenues, and an outlying pillar, now broken and 
prostrate, Hautville's Quoit. The cove is 300 m SW of 
the centre of the large circle and 27 m SW of the 
church that stands between them. Just S of the 
Druid's Arms public-house, it stands at the edge of a 
slight terrace and faces SE. The bearing of 157°±5° is 
astronomically uninteresting. 

It is an Avebury-type cove with two sideslabs 
projecting at right-angles from the backstone which 
has fallen outwards. When all were standing the 
stones would have been of considerably different 
heights: 4.4 m, back; 3.1m, SW; 1 .4 m, NE. The fact 
that these stones of dolomitic breccia (Morgan 1887, 
43) are mineralogically and geographically different 
from those in the circles which are almost all of 
silicious breccia (ibid., 48) suggests that the cove 
might be of a different period from the rings. 

Inspection of the three stones shows that the low 
NE stone was formerly part of the stone of the tall S W 
pillar from whose lower, front section it had become 
detached. The fallen backstone is also half-split; the 
outline of its deep fissure corresponds closely to the 
shapes of the sideslabs. 

Local megalithic tombs such as the Fairy's Toot, 
Butcombe, and Felton Hill, Winford, have chambers 
which in pian closely resemble the Stanton Drew 



Excavation in 1894 (Dymond 1896, 189, 12) recov- 
ered only a fragment of church tile indicating that 
there had been mediaeval digging in the area. 

The megalithic complex was known as The Wed- 
dings, the circle-stones being guests at a marriage 
ceremony turned into stone for dancing. The cove was 
the 'parson, bride and bridegroom' (Stukeley 1743, 

MAIN REFERENCES: Dymond 1896; Stukeley 1776, 

10. Stenness, Orkney, 4 miles ESE of Stromness (NY 


Cove (Figure 8G) 

The three stones inside the circle-henge of Stenness 

present a problem because they have been re-arranged 

several times. The excavator believed (Ritchie 1976, 

4) that originally two slabs, each about 1.9 m long, 

stood side by side in a line 3.9 m long broken by a 

narrow gap between them only 40 cm wide. The third 

stone, 2.7 m long, was 1.2 m to their W, standing 

centrally behind them. 

By the late eighteenth century this western back- 
stone had slumped forward against the two front 
stones. In the nineteenth century the setting was 
reconstructed as a 'dolmen' with extra standing stones 
introduced and with the backslab used as a capstone. 
The mistake was perpetuated when the circle-henge 
was taken into Guardianship in 1906. The following 
year the 'dolmen' was consolidated by setting the 
bases of the standing stones in concrete. In 1972 
vandals removed the 'capstone'. Restoration and 
excavation in 1973-74 resulted in the cove being 
restored to its condition in the eighteenth century. 
The digging-out of the stoneholes in 1907 made it 
impossible to determine whether the backstone had 
ever stood erect. 

For a cove the arrangement of the stones is unique 
but if seeking a prototype for it one need look no 
farther than the Unstan stalled cairn \\ miles to the W. 
At either end of its long internal chamber is a 
rectangular cell with an entrance made so narrow by 
the two sideslabs projecting from the wall of the 
chamber that only the central section of the cell's large 
backstone can be seen beyond them. It is an arrange- 
ment of slabs identical to the cove inside Stenness. 

The setting is without parallel elsewhere. Because 
of this, the fact that it is so similar to the chamber of a 
nearby megalithic tomb reinforces the belief that it 
was from such burial-places that coves were 

MAIN REFERENCES: Ritchie 1976, 3, 14-15, 19; Thomas 
1852, 88-136. 

11. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, 2 miles W of Amesbury 
(SU 123422) 


Inside the sarsen circle at Stonehenge were two 
horseshoe-shaped settings of stones. The smaller, of 
bluestones, measured about 14 x 12 m. The larger, of 
the five towering trilithons, measured about 15 x 14 
m. Both were open to the NE and both had stones 
rising in height towards the SW. In this they were 
similar to the crescentic forecourts of chambered 
tombs such as Cashtal yn Ard, Isle of Man, and it has 
been suggested (Burl 1987, 211- 13) that the open-air 
megalithic horseshoes may have been representations 
of such expanded courts. If so, they would correspond 
in function to the coves of this paper. 

The hypothesis is possible but the argument is far 
from proven. There are several comparable settings in 
the British Isles (Burl 1970, 72): of earth at Cowie- 
muir, Moray; of timber, long vanished, at Arminghall 
henge, Norfolk; Lugg henge, Co. Dublin; and Bleas- 
dale, Lancashire; and of stone at Achavanich and 
Broubster, Caithness; Croft Moraig circle, Tayside; 
Dun Ruadh cairn, Co. Tyrone; Loanhead of Daviot 
recumbent stone circle, Aberdeenshire; and 
Stonehenge, Wiltshire. 

In Brittany, particularly in the department of 
Morbihan, megalithic U-shaped settings were almost 
commonplace, and were sometimes gigantic (Burl 
1985, 172 'cromlechs; horseshoes'). Examples are 
known in the C6tes-du-Nord at Pedernec and 
Tossen-Keler; in Ille-et-Vilaine at the Tertre de la 
Croix-St-Pierre; and in the Morbihan at Le Champ de 
la Croix, Crucuny; Er-Lannic, where the horseshoe 
lies submerged to the south of the neighbouring stone 
circle; Grand Rohu; Kerbourgnec; Kergonan on the 
lie aux Moines; Kerlescan at Carnac where the 
enormous horseshoe, 240 x 200 m, is just to the north 
of a correspondingly vast cromlech; and St Barbe. 

Despite their exaggerated similarity to chambered 
tomb forecourts it is unlikely that it was from them 
that the Breton settings derived. Except for the 
allee-couverte of Kernic, Finistere, on the north coast 
(Burl 1985, 65), forecourts are hardly known in 
Brittany. Until further research clarifies the origins of 
these and the British U-shaped structures, they are 
best left as yet another example of megalithic 
MAIN REFERENCES: Burl, 1985; 1987, 211-13. 

12. Whispering Knights, Oxfordshire, 2\ miles N of 
Chipping Norton (SP 299308) 

Doubtful cove 

It has been suggested (Grinsell 1956, 2) that the 


setting of standing stones 400 m E of the Rollright 
Stones circle might be a cove. 

Four stones stand in a crude rectangle, about 2.5 m 
square, with a gap at the SW. A fifth stone, large and 
squarish, lies at the N corner. On the SE side of the 
setting the two tallest stones, some 2.4 m high, flank a 
third which stands at right-angles between them with 
very little space on either of its sides. 

The structure is best interpreted as a portal- 
dolmen, the two tall stones being the portals and the 
broad stone between them a blocking slab, 2.1 m 
high. In 1925 'a portion of a human left cheekbone' 
was found inside the setting (Ravenhill 1926, 29). 

In its ruinous state the Whispering Knights is a 
debatable monument but, lacking an original 
opening, it cannot be termed a cove. Interestingly, in 
Camden's Britannia (1695, 628) the Whispering 
Knights are directly compared with the 'Cove' near 
Meini-Gwyr, reaffirming the similarity between them. 
MAIN REFERENCES: Lambrick 1988, 28-34; Ravenhill 
1932, 17-18, 42- 3. 


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AUBREY, J., 1980 Monumenta Bntanmca I, ed. J. Fowles, 

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1982. Ibid., II 

barker, C.T., 1985 'The long mounds of the Avebury 

region', WAM 79, 7-38 
barnatt, J., 1978 Stone Circles of the Peak, London 

1982 Prehistoric Cornwall: The Ceremonial Monuments, 


BATEMAN, T., 1848 Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, 

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Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 26, 78-79 
bradley, R., 1984 The Social Foundations of Prehistoric 

Britain, London 
BROWNE, H., 1867 An Illustration of Stonehenge and Abuty, 

eighth edition, Salisbury (privately printed) 
BROWNE, T., 1658 'Hydriotaphia, Urn Bunall' in The Religio 

Medici and Other Writings, ed. C.F. Herford, London 

(1906), 91-139 
BURGESS. C, 1980 The Age of Stonehenge, London 
BURL, h.a.w., 1970 'The recumbent stone circles of North- 

East Scotland', Proc. Soc. Antiquaries of Scotland 102, 


1976 The Stone Circles of the British Isles, London 

1979a Prehistoric Avebury, London 

1979b Rings of Stone, London 

1981 Rites of the Gods, London 

1985 Megalithic Brittany: a Guide, London 

1987 The Stonehenge People, London 

CHILDE, V.G., 1931 Skara Brae: A Pictish Village in Orkney, 

CLARE, T., 1975 'Some Cumbrian stone circles in perspec- 
tive', Trans. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and 
Archaeological Soc. 75, 1-16 


1986 Towards a re-appraisal of henge monuments', 

PPS 52, 281-316 

COLLINS, a.e.p., and waterman, D.M., 1955 Millin Bay: A 

Late Neolithic Cairn in Co. Down, Belfast 
CUNNINGTON, me.., 1914 'The re-erection of two fallen 

stones and discovery of an interment with drinking cup, at 

Avebury', WAM 38, 1- 13 
DARVILL, T., 1987 Prehistoric Britain, London 
Dover, w.K, 1882 'Excursions. . .', Trans. Cumberland and 

Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Soc. 6 (O.S.), 

dymond, C.W., 1880 'A group of Cumberland megaliths', 

Trans. Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and 

Archaeological Soc. 5 (O.S.), 39-57. 
1896 The Ancient Remains at Stanton Drew in the County 

of Somerset, Bristol (privately printed) 

GIOT, P-R., l'HELGOUACH, J. and MONN1ER, P-L., 1979 PrehlSlOire 

de la Bretagne, Rennes 
GRAY, H. St. G., 1903 'On the excavations at Arbor Low, 

1901-2', Archaeologia 58, 461-98. 

- 1935 The Avebury Excavations, 1908-1922, Oxford 
GRINSELL, L.V., 1956 Stanton Drew Stone Circles, London 
HARDING, A.F., with LEE, G.E., 1987 Henge Monuments and 

Related Sites of Great Britain, BAR 175, Oxford 
henshall, as., 1963 The Chambered Tombs of Scotland I, 


1972 The Chambered Tombs of Scotland II, Edinburgh 

hunter, j., 1829 'Present State of Abury, Wilts', 

Gentleman's Magazine, Part II, 1-17 
KENDRICK.T.D., 1927 The Druids, London 
kilbride-JONES, HE.., 1950 'The excavation of a composite 

Iron Age monument with 'henge' features at Lugg, Co. 

Dublin', Proc. Royal Irish Academy 53C, 311-32 
kinnes, I., 1981 'Dialogues with death', in The Archaeology 

of Death, ed. R. Chapman, I. Kinnes and K. Randsborg, 

Cambridge, 83-91 
lambrick, G., 1983 The Rollright Stones, Oxford 

1988 The Rollright Stones, London 

LEWIS, A.L., 1903 'Stone Circles in Derbyshire', Man 3, 

LOCKYER, Sir N., 1909 Stonehenge and Other British Stone 

Monuments Astronomically Considered, London 
LONG, W., 1858 Abury Illustrated, Devizes (privately printed) 
lynch, F., 1972 'Ring-cairns and related monuments in 

Wales', Scottish Archaeological Forum 4, 61-80 
manby, T.G., 1958 'Chambered tombs of Derbyshire', 

Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 78, 25-39 
1965 'The excavation of Green Low chambered tomb', 

Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 85, 1-24 
morgan, c.l., 1887 'The stones of Stanton Drew: their 

source and origin', Proc. Somerset Archaeological and Nat. 

Hist. Soc. 33, 37-50 
PIGGOTT, s., 1948 'The excavations at Cairnpapple Hill, West 

Lothian, 1947-48', Proc. Soc. Antiquaries of Scotland 82, 


1962 The West Kennel Long Barrow: Excavations, 

1955-6, London 

PIGGOTT, s. and SIMPSON, D.D.A., 1971 'The Excavation of a 
stone circle at Croft Moraig, Perthshire, Scotland', PPS 
37, 1-15 

RAVENHILL, T.H., 1926 The Rollright Stones and the Men who 
Erected Them', Birmingham (privately printed) 

1932 The Rollright Stones and the Men who Erected 

Them, second edition, Birmingham 

RCAHM {Wales) V -Carmarthen, 1917, London 



Ritchie, j.n.g. , 1974 'Excavation of the stone circle and cairn 
at Balbirnie, Fife', Archaeological Journal 131, 1-32 

1976 'The Stones of Stenness, Orkney', Proc. Soc. 

Antiquaries of Scotland 107, 1-60 

le rouzic, Z., 1930 Les Cromlechs de Er Lannic, Vannes 

SCOTT, J.G., 1979 'The Clyde Cairns of Scotland' in T.G.E. 
Powell, J.X.W.P. Corcoran, F. Lynch and J.G. Scott, 
Megalithic Enquiries in the West of Britain, Liverpool, 

SMITH, Revd. AC, 1867 'Excavations at Avebury', WAM 10, 

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1743 Abury, a Temple of the British Druids, London 

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Archaeologia 34, 88-136 
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Quoted in W. Long, Abury Illustrated, Devizes (1858), 

WAINWRIGHT, G.J., 1979 Mount Pleasant, Dorset: Excavations 

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Proc. Soc. Antiquaries of London 3, 225-6 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 19-76. 

Twelve Wiltshire Round Barrows. Excavations in 1959 and 
1961 by F. de M. and H.L. Vatcher 


with contributions by 



The records and finds from the excavation of twelve Wiltshire round barrows in 1959 and 1961 are set out in this 
article. The Barrows are grouped on Heale Hill, Woodford; near King Barrow Ridge, Amesbury; and at Greenlands 
Farm, Winterboume Stoke. They are reported in the following order: 

Woodford G12, a bowl barrow, contained a disturbed primary burial. A secondary umfield and inhumation 
cemetery extended over the mound and to an area outside the ditch. 

Woodford G13, a small un-ditched bowl barrow, contained a probable primary central crouched burial; a second 
crouched burial lay outside the mound. 

Amesbury G133, an oval bell barrow, produced two primary cremations, one containing calcified fragments of 
cloth. Amesbury G132, a small ditched barrow, contained no extant burial. 

Winterboume Stoke G32, a bowl barrow, contained a collared urn replaced by William Cunnington in the central 
grave pit. A second collared urn was found in a pit beneath the southeast side of the mound. Winterboume Stoke G33, 
a bowl barrow with an outer bank, contained an oval cremation pit previously excavated by Cunnington. 

In the so-called Silo group, Winterboume Stoke G38, although excavated by Cunnington, contained an 
undisturbed primary cremation. Four stokeholes enclosed the primary cremation pit and an incomplete stake circle 
surrounded the mound. In Winterboume Stoke G39 a primary cremation had been excavated by Cunnington, who 
described it as 'a cist with ashes' . The mound of the bowl barrow was well-preserved and contained a burnt central 
stake structure, possibly a mortuary house, surrounded by a slake circle. 

In the so-called Ammunition Dump group, the bowl barrow Winterboume Stoke G46, from which the primary grave 
group found by Cunnington is now lost, contained two secondary cremations. Three disc barrows were also excavated, 
G47, 49 and SO. G47 contained a Wessex-type burial while the others had previously been excavated by Cunnington. 


This report concerns the excavation by the late Mrs 
Faith de M. Vatcher and Major H.L. Vatcher of 
twelve round barrows in the Stonehenge area in 1959 
and 1961. The excavations were undertaken for the 
then Ministry of Works on a rescue basis, all of the 
barrows being in an advanced state of erosion by 
cultivation. The excavation work force, apart from 
the directors, consisted largely of labourers supplied 
by contractor R. Butcher & Son of Warminster, 
although it is likely that occasional unrecorded volun- 
teers assisted. In one instance, at Winterboume 
Stoke, the work of an assistant appears on section 
drawings; otherwise the entire archive, as well as the 
processing and packaging of finds, was the work of 
Major and Mrs Vatcher. 

The time scale and budget within which these 
excavations were undertaken clearly imposed severe 

limitations on both excavation and recording 
methods. This can best be appreciated by studying an 
amended version of the excavation programme for the 
period August - November 1961, which survives in 
the archive (Table 1). 

This period saw the excavation of eleven barrows, 
including one at Clarendon Park (Fasham 1985). 
Concurrent work on separate barrow groups was 
made possible by the division of responsibilities, Mrs 
Vatcher undertaking work at Winterboume Stoke 
G46, G47, G49 and G50; and Major Vatcher, Winter- 
bourne Stoke G32 and G33, Woodford G12 and G13, 
and Clarendon Park G5. The Winterboume Stoke 
G38 and G39 investigations were directed jointly and 
in practice there appears to have been much co- 
operation in running the other excavations. This 
appears to be the case with the 1959 excavations of 
Amesbury G132 and G133, directed by Major 



Location Map 

Round barrow 
(t-V- Monument 
■ -■■•".'' Parish boundaries 

+ Approximate site of 

Figure 1. Location map: round barrows in the Woodford (A), Amesbury (B) and Winterbourne Stoke (C) groups 







G12 G13 


G46 G47 G49 G50 

G38 G39 

G32 G33 


Table 1. Barrow excavation programme, August - November 1961 


The excavation techniques and recording procedures 
adopted by Major and Mrs Vatcher are best described 
at the outset, to avoid repetition when considering 
each of the twelve barrows in this report. They were, 
in general, consistent in their methods, and only 
individual variations will be cited. (This section of the 
report is largely based on a draft version prepared by 
Martin Trott.) 

The excavations were commenced with trenches 
running N-S and E-W defining opposite quadrants. 
Where the sites were sufficiently close, the trenches 
for each site could be linked in parallel , as at Winter- 
bourne Stoke G32 and G33, or conjoined as at 
Amesbury G133 and G132 (Figure 13). Typically, 
these initial trenches were 8 ft wide and of sufficient 
length to extend beyond the ditch perimeter by at 
least 10-15 ft (3.05-4.57 m). In some smaller barrows 
these trenches were reduced to 6 ft (1.8 m) wide, or 
even 5 ft (1.5 m) at the very small Woodford G13 site 
(Figure 9). The abnormally wide trenches (10 ft or 
3.05 m) at Winterbourne Stoke G33 (Figure 24) may 
well indicate that it was not intended to strip a large 
area of the barrow and there is little evidence to 
suggest that this was done. The trenches were posi- 
tioned to leave baulks between quadrants of 2 or 3 ft 
(0.61 or 0.91 m) in width, or as at Winterbourne 
Stoke G50 only (Figure 42), 1 ft (0.31 m). In the case 
of some of the smaller barrows, for example Winter- 
. bourne Stoke G47, G49, and G50 (Figures 36, 41 and 
42), only small control areas were investigated. The 
initial trenches were totally excavated, including ditch 
sections, before any other work on the barrow was 
done. The baulks obtained by this method provided 

the main N-S and E-W sections recorded for each 
site. At the large barrows, Winterbourne Stoke G38 
and G39 (Figures 26 and 29), additional baulks were 
left bisecting each quadrant, although not extending 
quite as far as the centre of the barrow. At the smaller 
barrows, Woodford G12 (Figure 3) and Winterbourne 
Stoke G46 (Figure 32), such radial baulks occur in 
only one quadrant; they do not occur at all in the 
other barrows. It is only in the case of Winterbourne 
Stoke G38 that radial baulk sections were drawn. 

The quadrants were then excavated down to natural 
chalk leaving only the baulks. From photographic 
evidence it would seem that this was not done stra- 
tigraphically. Finds were attributed to layers which 
were described but not numbered in the record 

There are no photographs of features cut into the 
barrow mounds, despite the presence of definitely late 
features such as Cunnington's excavation trench at 
Winterbourne Stoke G39. Photographs of Woodford 
G12 show burials 'pedestalled' above the natural 
chalk; at Winterbourne Stoke G47 the flint 'revetment 
and chalk capping' are shown in situ while the interior 
of the mound has been removed. It may be that the 
barrow mounds were removed as a receding lace 
working from the perimeter towards the centre, as 
indicated in photographs of Winterbourne Stoke G39 
where the central stakeholes are shown in section 
against the body of the turf mound. Of the ditched 
barrows, only in the cases of Woodford G12, Winter- 
bourne Stoke G32 and Winterbourne Stoke G46 was 
there any excavation of the surrounding ditch other 
than in the initial trenches. Woodford G12 and 
Winterbourne Stoke G32 are the only barrows show- 



ing evidence of completed ditch excavations. In the 
majority of cases, the limit of the excavated area 
coincided with the line of the ditch thus giving little 
information for the area outside the barrow. 

The basic layout of N-S and E-W trenches, with a 
polygonal central area, was seldom departed from. An 
extension was made to the east of Woodford G12 
(Figure 3) to explore a small cremation cemetery, but 
not at Winterbourne Stoke G46 (Figure 32), where a 
cremation was located outside the barrow in one of the 
initial trenches. Areas excavated in addition to the 
standard trench layout are shown on plans for Ames- 
bury G133 (Figure 13) and Woodford G13 (Figure 9), 
but there is no surviving record of the reason for these 
exceptions. In the case of the disc barrows, Winter- 
bourne Stoke G47, G49 and G50 (Figures 36, 41 and 
42), the restricted extent of the excavation is more 
marked. Only in the SE quadrant of Winterbourne 
Stoke G47 does the edge of the area excavated 
approach within 50 ft of the perimeter of the barrow; 
here the mound was stripped up to the inner edge of 
the ditch leaving two areas separated by a baulk 
(Figure 36). It was only in the initial trenches that the 
ditches and ground outside the barrow were exca- 

The last stage in the excavation of the barrow area 
was the removal of the baulks. These were normally 
cut back to leave sections across the ditch. The baulk 
in the NW quadrant of Woodford G12 was removed 
entirely. There is, however, no photographic evidence 
that the baulks were removed at Amesbury G133 and 
132, except where they lay over features. It seems 
improbable that the N-S baulk at Winterbourne 
Stoke G32 was left standing, although the latest 
photograph of the site shows it intact. There is 
insufficient evidence to be sure of the final state of 
Winterbourne Stoke G33. Features seldom seem to 
have been dug in section except when adjacent to a 
baulk. Most features were apparently only defined 
and dug as such when cut into the natural chalk. 
Usually, recorded features not shown on main section 
drawings were planned and occasionally profiles were 


It is important to appreciate that during these exca- 
vations conventional numbering of layers and features 
was not employed. This is true of the finds record as 
well as of site plans, sections and note books. The 
numbered sequence of samples from ditches referred 
to below was retrospective, No. 1 being the primary 
fill. Occasionally these sample numbers were used in 

the finds note books in place of brief layer descrip- 
tions, but again this was retrospective. Finds can only 
rarely be attributed with any confidence to specific 
features, and find numbers do not always appear on 
the plans. 

The main N-S and E-W sections revealed by the 
initial trenches were invariably drawn, although in the 
disc barrows where the trenches extend to 100-120 ft 
these sections terminate just beyond the ditch. At 
Winterbourne Stoke G38 these main sections (Figure 
27) are supplemented by drawings of some of the 
radial baulks. Additional sections were drawn of the 
main E-W baulk at Winterbourne Stoke G38. This 
also happened at Winterbourne Stoke G47 (Figures 
36 and 37) where the N-S baulk has a second section 
drawing. Again, at Winterbourne Stoke G47, the end 
section of the N trench was drawn (beyond the 
mound), as it was in the E trench at Woodford G12 
(Figure 4) where it continued as the N face of the E 
trench across the cremation cemetery. Similarly, 
where the inner edge of the N trench of Winterbourne 
Stoke G46 has also bisected a cremation pit, a short 
length of the section has been drawn. 

Site plans show the layout of the excavation tren- 
ches in most cases. The extent to which detail has 
been added varies: at Winterbourne Stoke G47 
(Figure 36), for example, a reasonable amount of 
detail was given, while at Winterbourne Stoke G38 
(Figure 26) virtually no features were added to the 
basic site plans. The central features and peripheral 
cremation pits are shown, but the planning of 
stakeholes is often incomplete. Large scale drawings 
of the pits were made and it seems probable that 
scaled down versions of these drawings were used for 
the overall plan, with stakeholes being added from 
recorded co-ordinates. It is apparent from the photo- 
graphs that many features, presumed to be natural 
solution hollows etc., were not planned even though 
they were fairly substantial. As with the plans, the 
photographic archive for each site is variable: the only 
photographic record of Winterbourne Stoke G33 is 
that in which it appears as background to Winter- 
bourne Stoke G32; and the photographic coverage of 
Amesbury G132 is similarly poor. 

In the general site photographs, a few barrows were 
recorded as they appeared prior to excavation and 
some following the removal of topsoil. Winterbourne 
Stoke G47 is unusual in having a more comprehensive 
record of the barrow structure. As a rule the main 
drawn sections were photographed, usually obliquely, 
as were other baulk sections on some of the sites. The 
extreme changes in soil colour at Winterbourne Stoke 
G38 were also recorded on colour slides. Photographic 



coverage of the ditch sections varies from site to site 
and was not produced in every case. Area photo- 
graphs were taken for every site, except Winter- 
bourne Stoke G33, showing the completed 
excavation, or with only the main baulks left. 

Detailed photographs concentrate on the burials 
and special finds. The skeletons at Woodford G12 
were photographed in situ. All the located urns were 
photographed in situ as were the Winterbourne Stoke 
G47 dagger and awls. Several of the cremation pits 
were also recorded when fully excavated. Coverage of 
other features was haphazard. At Winterbourne Stoke 
G38 and G39 a large number of the stakeholes were 
photographed in section but it proved impossible to 
identify them correctly. 

Colour slides exist showing Winterbourne Stoke 
G38, G39 and some of the Winterbourne Stoke 
G46-G50 excavations. These largely duplicate the 
monochrome prints of baulk sections and in situ 
special finds. 

Find numbers were allocated to individual objects 
or associated groups; accompanying descriptions give 
the type of find and details of its location. Layers were 
described briefly in the finds book or referred to a 
description in a site note book in some instances. Two 
methods of recording find spots were used: co- 
ordinates of distance along a baulk and the offset 
measurement clockwise or anti-clockwise from it; and 
measurement of distance from two fixed points along 
the baulks (there were a number of such points so that 
the pairs used for triangulation were not always the 
same). The quadrant was also stated so that ambigui- 
ties did not arise from using the latter method. The 
depth of the find, presumably below the surface of the 
mound, was also given. How this was determined is 
not clear. If the mound was excavated as a single spit 
it may have been possible to measure this directly; 
otherwise it must have been an estimate of the depth 
below the surface of the nearest baulk. 

Other site records include levels taken along the 
main axes before excavation, written descriptions of 
layers, notes, summaries and site logbooks; but none 
ol these appears to have been employed regularly in a 
systematic way. 


Soil samples were taken from the majority of sites. At 
Woodford G13, an unditched bowl barrow, there was 
probably nothing worth sampling, but it is odd that 
there is no record of samples having been taken from 
Winterbourne Stoke G49 and G50. Normally samples 
were taken from ditch sections, the S or E sections 
being preferred. Usually six or seven separate layers 
were identified and sampled with numbers allocated 
to them from the lowest layer, the primary chalk 
rubble, up to the modern ploughsoil. Where mound 
material survived, this was also sampled. Features do 
not seem to have been sampled except for the retrieval 
of cremated bone. However, a soil sample was col- 
lected from the Neolithic pit at Amesbury G133. In a 
number of cases, control samples of the natural chalk 
and the ploughsoil were taken from the barrow. 


The deficiencies of the record are such that the 
present author has felt it inappropriate to comment at 
length on the overall significance of the results of 
these excavations. Although the context of the 
barrows, in close proximity to Stonehenge, other 
ceremonial monuments and barrow cemeteries is 
highly significant, it is felt that a full synthesis of the 
finds from the barrows reported here would be best 
undertaken as a separate review, especially as the 
evidence from other barrows is better documented 
and hence capable of more detailed examination. The 
scale of a full synthesis of barrow burial and structure 
places such a study beyond the scope of this paper. 

Bowl Barrows at Heale Hill, Woodford 

A diffuse group of small bowl barrows lay on the crest 
of Heale Hill, with a more concentrated group to the 
E around Hooklands Plantation, both within and 
outside a large earthwork enclosure. Two scheduled 
bowl barrows (Grinsell 1957, 204, Wiltshire SMR 
nos. SU 13 NW 656 and 657), Woodford G12 and 
G13 (Figure 2) on Court Farm, Woodford, were 
suffering plough damage in 1961. In August and early 
September that year, Major Vatcher directed an 

excavation of these barrows for the then Ministry of 
Works with consent of the owners, the Codford 

The barrows were situated (SU 110366) at 125 m 
OD on Upper Chalk overlain by a thin cover of 
clay-with-flints. By reference to the soil survey record 
for sheet SU 03 (Cope 1976) to the immediate W, it 
appears likely that palaeo-argillic brown earths of the 
Carstens series developed on the clay-with-flints, with 





• Bowl 
(§) Bell 

Parish boundary 


Figure 2. Woodford G12 and G13; location map 

brown rendzinas of the Andover series over chalk on 
the slopes of Heale Hill. To the immediate S there was 
formerly a well-preserved scheduled Celtic field 
system which would appear originally to have 
extended at least as far up the hillside as G12 and G13. 
No reference has been found to early barrow 
digging in either the Heale Hill or Hooklands Plan- 
tation groups. 

Woodford G12 (Figures 3-8) 

The excavator's plan, Figure 3, shows this to be a 
ditched bowl barrow with an overall diameter of c. 17 
m, excluding the weathering cone of the ditch. The 
profile (Figure 4 B-B') indicates that the barrow lay 
on ground sloping to the S. The excavator's summary 
states that 'The barrow . . . was composed of a clay 
with flint and chalk mound surrounded by a 'U' 
profile ditch, from which the chalk had been used to 
cover the clay with flint core at a later date' (typescript 
in archive). It would indeed appear from the W half of 
the E-W section (Figure 4 A'-A) that the mound 

consisted of an inner clay with flint and chalky soil 
core, with some burnt material, and an outer chalk 
envelope. Evidence for interpreting this as a later 
phase of construction seems to rest on the last sen- 
tence of the summary report which cites 'LBA sherds 
from primary silt of ditch'. We will return to this in 
discussion below. The broad hollow in which the 
ditch lies may represent, instead of a weathering cone, 
the scoop from which the clay with flint soil and chalk 
of the mound core were obtained. If this is the case, 
the extent of the buried surface beneath the mound 
may be close to that of the original area of the mound. 
The ditch then would have been dug leaving a broad 
berm. The plan (Figure 3) has an unlabelled outline 
which must be taken as the observed limit of the 
surviving mound. Also delineated on the plan is the 
outline of a robbing pit or early excavation, invariably 
referred to by the excavators as a 'hawk', a vernacular 
term which has been retained for this report. The 
primary burial had been disturbed or robbed, but the 
small central pit may have contained a cremation. 



Woodford G12 

UC Cremation (Urn) 
C Cremation (No ui 

O Urn find-spot 
A Recorded Pottery 

;■'' '■-. Edge of hawk 

20 25 

Figure 3. Woodford G12: site plan showing recorded features 
Note: key relates to this and following site plans 

An analysis of the human remains from barrow G12 
is given by Lynne Bell in Appendix II. Seventeen 
individuals were identified as follows: inhumations: 
four adults and one 10-year-old; cremations: five 
adults, one sub adult and a child of 6-10 months. 
Other fragments (for example Find No. 176 from an 
urn east of the barrow) were too small to provide a 
positive identification. 

inhumations (Figure 3) 

Find No. 160 Crouched 

Find No. 161 Crouched 

Find No. 162 Crouched 

Find No. 163 'Disturbed primary?' 

Find No. 165 Incomplete skeleton 

Although the excavators reported that No. 163 was 



Woodford G12 

j MUl'J.-UITHtl 

[] Topsoil ',>'.• Cloy with flint g^ Burnt material 

][ subsoil 23 Cl °y Bj Turl lQ y er 

I] Soil [H Chalk gg] Turf mound 

g;M| Chalk and soil []T?] Chalk spill ] | Old land surface 

Figure 4. Woodford G12: section drawings and profile 

Note: key relates to this and following section drawings 

sealed by the chalk outer envelope of the mound, it 
can be argued that all of these inhumations, and 
probably others suggested by further separate finds of 
human bone, represent a secondary phase of burial. 
All were found at relatively shallow depths in the 
mound material and no outlines of grave-pits were 
recorded. The combination of plough erosion and the 
technique of excavating to a receding face across each 
quadrant may have made difficult the recognition of 
grave outlines within the mound. 

CREMATIONS IN barrow (Figures 3 and 5) 

Find Nos. Urn sherds From filling of hawk 

128-9, 132 (Figure 5.8) 

Find Nos. Cremated 'Cremation pit at 

155-7 bone base of central hawk' 

These finds are probably the remains of the primary 
burial in a shell-tempered biconical urn placed in 
the central pit and disturbed by early digging or 
robbing (see Figure 3). 

Find No. 


Not inurned 

'NW quadrant in 

Find No. 


Urn sherds, 

'In ditch filling'; NE 



Find No. 


Urn sherds 

'On and just above 
base of ditch. May 
have eroded from 
mound'; SW 

Find Nos 


'In rain/hillwash'; 


NE quadrant 

Find Nos 


'In pit cut into 


(Figure 5.1) 

natural chalk'; SW 

Find Nos 


'On natural in 


shallow depression'; 
SW quadrant 

Find No. 


Not inurned 

'In small pit dug into 
natural'; SW 



Some further finds of urn sherds and scatters of 
cremated bone, for example the finds of burnt bone 
(No. 188) in the SW quadrant, may represent further 

This group of cremations around the periphery of 
the mound itself, and possibly also in the ditch, can 
be seen as a secondary urnfield, possibly contem- 
porary with the small urnfield E of the barrow, listed 
below. The shallowness of the identified cremation 
pits implies that they were cut down through the 
mound and only recognised in the underlying natural 
chalk. The degree of weathering and cultivation of 
the sides of the mound may have made recognition of 
cuts through the mound material almost impossible, 
as observed in the cases of inhumation discussed 

(Figures 3 and 5) 

Find Nos. 


Find No. 177 

Find Nos. 
Find Nos. 
Find Nos. 
Find No. 187 

Urn sherds 'Oblong depression 
and cremation cut into natural' 
Cremated A possible second 
bone cremation at N side 

of 172 
Urn sherds 
and cremation 
Urn sherds 
and cremation 
Urn sherds 
and cremation 
Not inurned 

These cremations form a secondary urnfield outside 
the barrow, possibly only part of a larger group, 
although no further burials were found in the trenches 
E of this urnfield. Examination of the pottery 
described below suggests that this group may be 
contemporary with the secondary cremations around 
the barrow mound. 

THE POTTERY (Figures 5 and 6) 

Three hundred and thirteen sherds were recovered 
from 102 recorded locations in the excavation of this 
barrow. These may be summarised: 3 Beaker sherds, 
138 Bronze Age sherds, 72 Romano-British sherds, 93 
medieval sherds, and a small number which were not 

The Beaker sherds (Figure 6. 9-11) 
These are weathered and may be residual from an 
early phase of cultivation of Heale Hill. The rim 
(Figure 6.9) is of pot beaker form. The group of 

sherds came from vessels which would be appropriate 
in a domestic beaker assemblage. 

Bronze Age pottery: the urns 

1. Find No. 132 and associated recorded finds 
(Figure 5.8). This vessel is almost certainly the urn 
from the primary cremation, as suggested above. The 
fabric consists of a friable non-micaceous paste, 
yellow-brown to dark grey in colour, with fine laminar 
shell temper in great density, and angular and sub- 
rounded quartz and flint grains. A superficial or 
weathered deposit of shelly clay in the Kimmeridgean 
series seems to be the probable source, possibly from 
West Wiltshire or Dorset. 

The base and upper part of the urn, including the 
rim, are represented. The form is that of a Wessex 
Biconical Urn with plastic decoration. A cross or 
probably Y-shaped finger-tipped strip is applied to 
the inside of the base, and the outer edge of the 
flat-topped rim is also finger-tipped. 

Reconstruction of the decoration of the upper body 
is uncertain, but a cordon above the shoulder seems 
clear, with a zig-zag, swag or possibly horseshoe 
pattern of applied finger-tipped strip between the 
cordon and rim. 

2. Find No. 126 (Figure 5.7): base sherd of urn. 

3. Find No. 133 (not illustrated): body sherds of 
urn. Black highly reduced core and interior; some 
exterior surfaces oxidized. Dense fine flint temper. 

4. Find No. 134 (Figure 5.6): base and body sherds 
of secondary urn. Blackish reduced core and interior 
surface; exterior surface oxidized. Dense sharp flint 
temper (similar to No. 178, below) in a friable paste. 

5. Find No. 152 (Figure 5.5): base of probable 
secondary urn from filling of 'hawk'. Flat narrow base 
with steep base angle. Blackish core and interior; grey 
oxidized exterior. Grey temper. 

6. Find No. 158 (Figure 5.1): Complete base and 
half body with rim of small bucket urn with rounded 
rim. Oxidized firing. Dense small to medium flint 
temper in soft non-micaceous paste. Height 160 mm; 
rim diameter 182 mm. 

7. Find No. 168 (not illustrated): body sherds of 
probable barrel urn. Coarse crushed flint temper, 
densely packed. Largely oxidized firing. Ferruginous 
clay paste. 

8. Find No. 172 (Figure 5.2): rim and cordoned 
upper part of probably rather rounded barrel urn. 
Reduced firing with rather oxidized exterior. Fine 
dense flint temper. 

9. Find No. 178 (Figure 5.4): base and some body 
sherds of barrel or bucket urn. Slightly reduced core, 
well oxidized surfaces. Extremely dense temper of 




Figure 5. Woodford G12: Bronze Age urns; probable primary urn (8) 





i 9 




' 15 






=~^ , 






















Figure 6. Woodford G12: Beaker (9-11), LBA (12-14), R-B (15-32) and Medieval (33) pottery 



sharp and slightly rounded flint sand from stream 
bed, possibly from the river Avon to the E. Very 
friable non-micaceous paste; probably clay-with- 

10. Find No. 184 (Figure 5.3): large quantity of body 
sherds and rim sherds of barrel or bucket urn. 
Oxidized exterior and outer core; reduced interior and 
part core. Extremely vesicular fabric, considerable 
quantities of grog temper having weathered out. 

Later Bronze Age pottery (Figure 6. 12-14) 
Twenty three Late Bronze Age sherds were recovered 
from the ditch fill. Figure 6.12 shows the base of a 
plain, flint-tempered jar with finger-smeared surfaces; 
Figure 6.13, the finger-tipped rim of a round- 
shouldered sand-tempered jar; and Figure 6.14, an 
incised chevron-decorated sherd from a sand- 
tempered jar. 

Romano-British pottery (Figure 6.15-32) 
Three sherds of Romano-British wares were recov- 
ered from the ditch, the remainder from the rain wash 
from the mound and overlying plough soil. The 
majority of sherds are of New Forest fabrics or the 
coarse sandy or grog-tempered wares commonly 
found on several sites in Wessex. Diagnostic forms 
include ring-necked flagons (Figure 6. 26-27; 2nd and 
3rd century); flanged rim bowls (Figure 6. 22-23; c. 
4th century); and a red colour-coated flanged bowl 
copying Dr. 38 (Figure 6.31; after c. AD 240, cf. 
Young (1977) Type C 51). 

Medieval pottery (Figure 6.33) 

Fourteen sherds were found in the upper ditch fill, 

the remainder in plough soil over the mound and 



As in the other barrow excavations, only small quanti- 
ties of worked flint were recovered or retained. In the 
excavation of Woodford G12, fourteen pieces were 
recorded from nine locations. These comprise ten 
flakes, a utilized flake, a notched tool and two 


Fragments of querns and three stone rubbers were 
recorded from three locations, all associated with the 
erosion and cultivation of the upper ditch fills. 

1. Find No. 101: quern fragment with pecked 
grinding surface. Glauconitic sandstone, greensand 

2. Find No. 108: fragments of three rubbers: two of 
glauconitic sandstone, finely bedded, possibly oxi- 
dized Upper Greensand; one of ferruginous sand- 
stone, Lower Greensand. 

3. Find No. 113: quern fragment. Coarse-grained 
glauconitic sandstone with large unsorted grains, 
Lower Greensand. 

These saddle quern fragments and stone rubbers 
are typical of material from later Bronze Age 
settlement sites. 


Cylindrical object, broken at one end. Complete end 
(possible glans) smooth and slightly convex, defined 
by a deeply scored groove. Smooth sides with some 
longitudinal scoring. Length: 33 mm; width: 21 mm. 
Chalk phalli are more commonly known from 
Neolithic sites. Whilst it is not certain that this 
incomplete example can be identified as a phallus, it 
does resemble the examples from Windmill Hill 
(Smith 1965, Fig. 57, C9 - 10). 

Figure 7. Woodford G12: probable chalk phallus 


Curved strip with punched decoration. Length: 77 
mm (straightened); width: 4 mm (max.); thickness: 2 
mm. Edges and ends worn, possibly incomplete. A 
small bangle, probably of Romano-British date. 


The small quantity of animal bone recovered, largely 



Figure 8. Woodford G12: decorated strip of copper alloy 

from ploughsoil and rainwash in the upper ditch fills, 
was identified by Mark Maltby of the Faunal Remains 
Unit, University of Southampton. A report in the 
archive records the cattle and sheep or goat remains, 
as well as a red deer antler tine from the mound 

Woodford G13 (Figures 9-11) 

The excavators' plan and sections (Figures 9 and 10) 
show this to be an un-ditched bowl barrow of c. 7 m 
overall diameter. The mound was composed prin- 
cipally of clay-with-flints, presumably scraped up 
from the surrounding subsoil over what appears to be 
a turf core, recorded as 'old land surface' (Figure 10 
D'-D). At the centre of the barrow was a grave cut in 
the natural chalk, containing a crouched inhumation 
(No. 233; Figure 9 inset), while a second grave 
outside the mound to the NE contained a further 
crouched burial (No. 236). 

It is not possible to be certain of the relationship 
between the central grave and the construction of the 
barrow. Major Vatcher's summary report states that 
'the grave contained a crouched unaccompanied inhu- 
mation and its filling consisted of large flints. . . .The 
flint filling went to the present surface of the mound'. 
However, this flint filling is shown in stylized form on 
the site section drawings as 'hawk'; in other words it 
was the back fill of early excavation or robbing, shown 
in outline *on Figure 10 D'-D. The finds recorded 
from this fill are also reported as 'hawk material'. The 

section and photographs show that the excavation of 
this fill, with the baulks still in place, extended to at 
least as great a depth as the base of the grave in the 
corresponding grave profile (Figure 9 F-F' inset). 
The nature of the fill is not recorded. 

Clearly the grave itself was not fully excavated until 
the baulks had been removed. The flint-filled central 
pit dug through the mound does indeed appear to be a 
typical 'hawk'. It is probable that since the inhu- 
mation was undisturbed, the tapering base of the 
'hawk' did not in fact extend quite to the base of the 
grave. The flint backfill may have consisted largely of 
re-deposited clay-with-flints from the mound, which 
can be assumed to have been higher before modern 
cultivation, but the quantity of flint visible in the 
photographs of the 'hawk' fill also raises the possi- 
bility that the early excavators disturbed a flint filling 
in the central grave, or even a flint cairn over it. 
Certainly the undisturbed NE grave contained a flint 
filling around the burial. 

An urn sherd was recovered from the 'hawk' fill. 
Two further sherds of an urn were located in the NE 
grave. Whether these may have been parts of 
accessory vessels associated with the inhumations or 
simply stray sherds cannot be established. 

A natural hollow in the chalk bedrock under the SE 
quadrant of the mound was planned. The purpose of 
the additional trenches outside the barrow to the N 
was not reported. 

THE POTTERY (Figure 11) 

Pottery sherds from thirty-one find spots were 
recorded. From the mound surface came 8 Bronze 
Age sherds, 11 Romano-British sherds and one sherd 
of post-Roman grass-tempered ware. From the struc- 
ture on the mound itself were recorded one later 
Bronze Age sherd, 3 Romano-British sherds and a 
further sherd of grass-tempered ware. From the filling 
of the 'hawk', 6 later Bronze Age sherds and 2 
Romano-British sherds were recovered. 

Urn sherds (not illustrated) 

1. Find No. 213: sherd of grog- tempered urn. 

2. Find No. 240: two sherds of flint-tempered ware 
typical of barrel urn fabrics. 

Later Bronze Age pottery (Figure 11. 1-2) 

1 . Figure 11. 1 : shoulder of a sand-tempered fur- 
rowed bowl: very weathered. 

2. Figure 11.2: rim of sand and flint-tempered jar. 



Woodford G13 

10 15 20 25 

Figure 9. Woodford G13: site plan showing recorded features 



Woodford G13 

12 16 

Figure 10. Woodford G13: section drawing and profile 





Figure 11. Woodford G13: LBA (1-2) and R-B (4-6) pottery 

Romano-British pottery (Figure 11. 4-6) 

1. Figure 11.4: rim sherd, coarse sandy fabric. 

2. Figure 11. 5-6: rim sherds, New Forest wares. 

Fired clay (Figure 11.3) 

Part of a slab-shaped piece of grog-tempered fired 

clay. Dating uncertain. 


Two scrapers were found in the SW quadrant of the 

barrow, both of which could be accepted as being in 
association with the later Bronze Age pottery. 


The human remains from the two inhumations are 
discussed by Lynne Bell in Appendix II. One indi- 
vidual may be an adult female, the other burial, which 
is anomalous in terms of age, may represent one or 
two individuals. 



An oval bell barrow (G133) and a possible bell barrow (G132), King Barrow Ridge, 


The vicinity of Stonehenge Avenue is dominated by a 
concentration of barrow groups, mostly of irregular 
linear pattern (Figure 12). These have been very fully 
described by RCHM (E) in a survey (1979) of the 
Stonehenge environs. The best preserved include the 
New King Barrow group of bowl and bell barrows 
(Figure 12, Nos. 26-32). This group extends E-W 
across the Avenue in a line c. 1 km in length. The 
barrows have been levelled, largely by post-medieval 
cultivation, although those extant in the twentieth 
century have been destroyed by ploughing since the 
Second World War. 

An oval twin bell barrow, Amesbury G133 (Wilt- 
shire SMR No. SU 14 SW 791; RCHM (E) 1979, 4), 
scheduled as an Ancient Monument (County No. 
300b), was excavated by Major Vatcher for the then 
Ministry of Works in September and October 1959, 
with the consent of the landowners, Messrs. Wort and 
Way of Salisbury. 

The bell barrow (SU 740422) lies on Upper Chalk 
at c. 1 10 m OD and just E of the Stonehenge Avenue. 
At the time of excavation the field was under grass, 
and the barrow so flattened that it could only be 
located from a crop-mark over the ditch. A second 

circular crop-mark marked the position of a hitherto 
unrecognised smaller circular barrow to the W, 
almost contiguous with the oval bell barrow. This was 
numbered Amesbury G 132 by RCHM (E) (1979, 4). 
Both barrows were excavated simultaneously by the 
quadrant method on a common grid axis (Figure 13). 
The excavation was conducted by hand with contrac- 
tor's labourers. 

Amesbury G133 (Figures 13-16) 

This barrow survived only as an oval, flat-bottomed 
ditch, enclosing an area measuring 35 m by 27 m 
(Figure 13). The mound, heavily ploughed down, is 
not defined on existing plans or sections. An interim 
summary by Major Vatcher (typescript in archive) 
states that 'From the character of the weathering of 
the natural chalk, the edge of the mound did not 
appear to conform with the shape of the ditch, 
consequently the berm tended to be wider at the sides 
than at the ends of the oval'. This implies a narrow 
oval mound symmetrically placed about the longer 
axis. The basically octagonal central excavation area 
appears not to have covered the whole mound, the 

• Bowl 

® Bell 

^ Pond 

o Levelled round barrow or ring-ditch 

200 LOO 600 800 1000 

Parish boundary 

Figure 12. Map of Stonehenge-Amesbury area showing location of round barrows 




\ \ 

\ \ 

\ \ 

\ \ 

\ -\ 











4 t3 






\ \ 

\ \ 


\ \ 

\ \ 


I I 

I I 

I I 

' / 

/ ' 

/ / 

/ / 


/ / 




Amesbury G132 and G 133 



,___ F'TB 

GL32 D' 7 


16 20 

Figure 14. Amesbury G132 and G133: section drawings and profile 

limits of which may only have been reached in the 
four initial trenches. It seems most likely that this was 
a twin bell barrow, with two small mounds raised over 
the primary cremations (Find Nos. 68 and 69) and 
surrounded by an oval ditch: this is the interpretation 
followed by RCHM (E) (1979, 4). In section, (Figure 
14 B-B'), the tip-lines overlying the ditch on the west 
side of the barrow may have resulted from ploughing 
down of the mounds. 

The central area appears to have been excavated at 
an earlier date (Figures 13; 14 A-A'), although the 
excavators make no reference to a 'hawk' in this 
instance. In the absence of any other record of these 
central features it is worth quoting the relevant part of 
a summary report. 

At the barrow centre was a small circular, cup- 
shaped pit, 2' in diameter and 1' deep. The pit was 
filled with brown earth and capped with a chalk 
crust. It had cut into a heavy line of turf covering 
what appeared to be a larger pit, some 6' in 
diameter and 2' deep. A single sherd of late Neoli- 
thic (Peterborough type) pottery and the remains of 
an antler were recovered from the larger pit. A 
section cut through it revealed an absence of silting, 

and this outer pit may be a natural hole, the sherd 
and antler being carried down by earthworms 
before the barrow was built. The small pit on the 
other hand, was contemporary with the building of 
the barrow. (Vatcher 1959, 394.) 

Two urn burials containing cremations, Find Nos. 
68 and 69, were found in small pits on the E-W axis 
(Figure 13). Both vessels were inverted collared urns; 
No. 68 also contained calcified fragments of cloth. 
Because of the eroded state of the mound there is no 
evidence of the stratigraphic relationship between it 
and the cremations. The excavators stated in the 
summary report that they were primary burials; the 
oval plan of the barrow itself would make this a logical 


The 'primary' cremation urns (Figures 15.1 and 16.2) 
1. Find No. 68 (Figure 15.1): collared urn, found 
(inverted) in a pit dug into the chalk subsoil. Long- 
worth Corpus No. 1631; Secondary Series, South 
Eastern Style, Form IC (1984, 282, Plate 1396). 
Fabric: coarse grog tempered ware in very friable 



Figure 15. Amesbury G133: collared urn from primary cremation 





Figure 16. Amesbury G133: collared urn (2), Neolithic bowl (3) and R-B pottery (4-6) 


paste; oxidized in firing. Parallel cord-impressed 
decoration around collar; looped cord 'horseshoe' 
impressions on internal rim bevel. Height 517 mm; 
Width: 425 mm. 

The base and lower sides of the urn were removed 
before excavation of the lower half of the burial. 
About 140 pieces of calcified cloth were found in the 
chalk soil, at the level of the shoulder of the urn which 
was filled with cremated bone fragments. The cloth 
fragments will be described in a specialist report, 

2. Find No. 69 (Figure 16.2). A collared urn, 
containing a cremation, found (inverted) in a small pit 
dug into the chalk subsoil. Longworth Corpus No. 
1632; Secondary Series, South Eastern Style, Form II 
(1984, 282; Plate 150d). Fabric: grog-tempered with 
sparse flint inclusions in an oxidized friable paste. 
Cord-impressed decoration with two rows of inter- 
locking triangular panels bordered by horizontal lines 
on collar; lattice decoration on interior rim bevel. 
'Horseshoe' looped cord impressions around 
shoulder. Height: 350 mm; width: 366 mm. 

The pre-barrow pottery (Figure 16.3) 

1. Figure 16.3 (no find no.): sherds of a Grooved 
Ware bowl found at the base of the old land surface 
beneath the mound. Black reduced core with slightly 
oxidized surfaces. Grog- tempered fabric with organic 
inclusions; polyvinyl acetate consolidation makes tex- 
tural description difficult. Rusticated zone between 
groove below rim and wavy cordon. Obliquely 
grooved zone between cordon and lower groove. 
Probably plain lower part. 

2. Find Nos. 23, 24 and 46 (not illustrated): a 
Neolithic sherd (24), a Beaker sherd (23) from the 
primary ditch fill, and a possible Grooved ware sherd 
(46) from the secondary ditch fill, are probably all 
from material derived from pre-barrow surfaces 
which have weathered into the barrow ditch. 

Romano-British pottery (Figure 16.4-6) 
In the 'rainwash' from the mound and over the ditch 
fill, probably a buried ploughsoil, were found five 
Romano-British sherds, including a sherd of a New 
Forest flanged bowl. The sherds were all in an 
abraded condition. 

THE CLOTH FRAGMENTS associated with collared urn 

(Figure 15.1) 

by AUDREY HENSHALL, 9 February 1960 

Eight very small fragments of cloth, the largest 
measuring only § in x | in, were sent for examination. 


They were extremely decayed, and were impregnated 
with polyvinyl acetate in order to preserve them. 

All appear to be from the same plain weave cloth, 
with a count of 24 to 28 threads per inch in each 
direction, though in one fragment the threads of one 
system are finer and number about 36 per inch: this is 
probably only a local variation which might be 
expected in a fair-sized piece of cloth. There is almost 
no twist to be seen in the yarn, largely due to the 
extremely degraded state of the fibres. In one or two 
places there are indications that a 2-ply S-twisted 
Z-spun yarn has been used: these indications, how- 
ever, are so slight that it must remain an uncertainty, 
though a plied yarn can be paralleled in contemporary 
cloths (Henshall, 1950, 133). Otherwise the yarn now 
appears as a single, relatively thick strand, or else as 
two parallel strands, which seems to be due to 
splitting in the last stages of decay. The fibres are too 
degraded for the material to be identified. The best 
preserved fragment shows the threads lying close 
together to make a firm fabric, and where the cloth 
appears to be more open this is due to extreme decay. 

In one instance there is a double layer of the cloth; 
otherwise a single layer only remains. Clinging to one 
side of four of the fragments are the last vestiges of a 
finer cloth but no further details of this could be made 

Amesbury G132 (Figures 13, 14, 17 and 18) 

This small barrow (SU 13974226) was first recognised 
by the excavators in a preparatory survey for the 
excavation of its neighbour, G133. The barrow has 
since been listed as a probable bowl barrow (RCHM 
(E), 1979, 4). 

The excavation plan (Figure 17) shows a sub- 
circular ditch of c. 19 m overall diameter. No trace of 
a central mound was recorded and the excavators 
reported that the level of ploughing was below that of 
any old land surface (Vatcher 1959, 394). The sections 
and profile (Figure 14 E-E', F-F' and D-D') show 
the ditch to be broad and flat-bottomed, very similar 
to that of G 133. This characteristic together with its 
close positioning and alignment on the axial line of 
G133 suggests to the present writer that there may 
have been an intentional, possibly contemporary, 
structural relationship between the two barrows. 

No trace of a burial was recovered. Photographs 
show that the central baulks were eventually exca- 
vated. Several stake-holes are shown on the site plan 
(Figure 17), but their stratigraphical relationship to 
the construction of the barrow ditch is uncertain. 
Some of these stake-holes were recorded in plan in 



Amesbury G 132 

▲ Recorded Pottery 

# » Stakehofes 

*• Possible stokeholes 

s 10 15 20 25 30 

Figure 17. Amesbury G132: site plan showing recorded features 

apparently unexcavated areas. It is not clear whether 
the excavation was in fact extended beyond the limit 
shown in Figure 17 and in photographs. 

A small pit in the southern half of the barrow - of 
which no detailed plan or section survives - is shown 
in outline plan. It was described in the excavator's 
summary as 'an elongated pit 3' long and 2' deep'. 
This pit contained the group of Neolithic sherds 
described below. 

NEOLITHIC POTTERY (Figure 18. 1-3) 

Large fragments of two round-based bowls and a rim 
sherd of a third bowl were recovered from the pit in 
the SW quadrant. These vessels form a typical Wind- 
mill Hill group of the early Neolithic period. 

1. Find No. 67 (Figure 18.1): fabric moderately 
soft; non-micaceous paste with sparse large flint 
temper (maximum size: 14 mm). Core and surfaces 



Figure 18. Amesbury G132: Neolithic pottery 

reduced in some areas, oxidized in others. Heavily 
wiped surfaces. Rim internally bevelled. 
2. Find No. 67 (Figure 18.2): fabric similar to 
above, but sparser and smaller flint temper with some 
grog. Largely reduced core and surfaces. External and 
internal surfaces heavily wiped. Flat-topped rim with 
slight external lipping. 

3. Find No. 65 (Figure 18.3): rim and some body 
sherds of bowl. Fabric: non-micaceous clay paste with 
sparse, large flint temper. Slightly reduced core; 
oxidized surfaces. Irregular, strongly everted rim. 

Round Barrows near Greenlands Farm, Winterbourne Stoke 

In the course of their work on eleven barrows in 1961 , 
Major and Mrs Vatcher excavated individual barrows 
from three groups to the south, west and north of the 
Lesser Cursus (Figure 19). These appear to have been 
G32, a bowl barrow and G33, a probable disc barrow, 
excavated under the direction of Major Vatcher; G38 
and G39, two bowl barrows in the Silo group; G46, a 
bowl barrow and G47, G49 and G50, disc barrows in 
the Ammunition Dump group, all excavated by Mrs 
Vatcher. The Royal Commission furnishes summaries 
of these excavations, provided by the excavators, but 
there is considerable confusion in relating them to the 
site records where the original MOW county numbers 
are used to identify the barrows. The Commission 
Inventory also seems to be incorrect in recording that 

bowl barrow G31 was excavated, and in omitting to 
mention G33 (RCHM 1979, 6). 

Winterbourne Stoke G32 (Figures 20-23) 

This barrow and its neighbour G33 form part of a 
small linear group extending SE from the Silo group. 
The group appears to consist of two disc barrows and 
two bowl barrows (Figure 19). G32 (SU 10374311) 
lies at about 110 m OD on the southern slope of the 
Silo ridge (Grinsell 1957, 202). 

The barrow is no longer visible, but an Air Ministry 
vertical photograph dating from 1945 (106G/UK/915/ 
4206) shows it under plough following cereal 
cropping. The barrow appears at that date as an 



• Bowl 

® Bell 

® Disc 

v> Pond 

„ Saucer 

o Levelled round barrow or rlng-dltch 

+ Approximate site of barrow 

• • "'•... Parish boundary 

Figure 19. Location map: round barrows in the Cursus and Lesser Cursus areas 



Winterbourne Stoke 










Figure 20. Winterbourne Stoke G32: site plan showing recorded features 

exposed chalk mound with a large central depression, 
surrounded by a clear ditch. There is no indication of 
an outer bank. 

The aim of the excavation in the autumn of 1961 
was to recover what had survived some twenty years 
of cultivation. 

The barrow had previously been excavated in 1804 
by William Cunnington who had re-interred a 
Collared Urn, 'a rude urn' (Hoare 1810, 165). The 
1961 plan (Figure 20) shows a surviving central turf 

mound, c. 7.5 m in diameter; beneath it is the old 
ground surface covered by the truncated remains of 
the outer chalk envelope of the mound, the extent of 
which indicates that the mound was formerly some 1 3 
m in diameter (see section, Figure 21). The ditch, 22 
m in overall diameter, was flat-bottomed and covered 
by a substantial accumulation of ploughsoil which 
contained most of the pottery finds plotted in Figure 
20. The remains of a grassland soil which developed 
over this ploughsoil can be seen in section. 



Winterbourne Stoke G32 

Figure 21. Winterbourne Stoke G32: section drawings and profile 

The central cremation was re-excavated from its 
burial pit (Find No. 48). The pit lay at the base of 
Cunnington's 1804 'hawk', and photographs show 
that the incomplete urn had been tipped into the 
backfill and lay in an inverted position. 

A further inurned cremation, with no find number, 
was found undisturbed in a pit cut into the chalk in 
the SE quadrant. The urn was inverted and undated 
correspondence surviving in the archive reports that 
its base was 'just below the plough level'. Photographs 
show the pit to have been larger than shown in plan 
(Figure 20). The excavators believed this to have been 
another primary cremation. 

A third cremation was recorded on plan in the NW 
quadrant (Figure 20). Nothing further is known of 
this burial. 

Three stake-holes are placed round the central 
cremation pit. Many other stake-holes also appear on 
the excavator's plan, around the periphery of the 
mound area, but the writer can make no structural 
interpretation. An intrusive, chalk-filled feature cut 
into the mound appears in photographs of the E 

No finds records survive for G32, and the following 
information has been derived from finds labels. 

THE POTTERY (Figures 22 and 23) 
The primary urns (Figures 22 and 23.2) 

1. Find No. 48 (central cremation); collared urn, 
Figure 22. cf. Longworth Corpus no. 1734 (1984, 
291, not illustrated); not classified by Longworth but 
reconstruction (Figure 22) suggests Secondary Series, 
South Eastern Style, Form IC. Fabric: friable, soft 
paste with abundant grog temper, oxidized firing with 
some reduced areas on interior surface. Rim: internal 
bevel with two parallel cord-impressed lines. Collar: 
cord-impressed diagonally infilled interlocking tri- 
angles between paired lines around rim and lower 
margin of collar. Wedge-shaped impressions around 
shoulder. Height: 448 mm; rim diameter 327 mm; 
diameter at shoulder: 390 mm. 

2. No find no. (cremation in SE quadrant). Collared 
urn, Figure 23.2. cf. Longworth Corpus No. 1735 
(1984, 291, not illustrated; not classified, but recon- 
struction (Figure 23.2) suggests Secondary Series, 
South Eastern Style, Form IC. Fabric: as No. 48, 
above. Rim: steep internal bevel with diagonal cord- 
impressed lines. Collar: vertical cord-impressed lines 
between paired lines at rim and overhang. Base 
missing. Rim diameter: 275 mm; diameter at 
shoulder: 310 mm. 



Figure 22. Winterbourne Stoke G32: primary collared urn 

Late Bronze Age and Iron Age pottery (Figure 23.3) 
The former plough soil in the upper ditch levels 
contained two sherds of Late Bronze Age and Early 
Iron Age pottery. A finger-impressed shoulder sherd 
from a flint tempered Late Bronze Age slack 
shouldered jar is illustrated. 

Romano-British pottery (Figure 23.4-8) 
Twenty-seven sherds of Romano-British pottery were 
found in the ploughsoil infilling of the ditch and in the 

overlying turfline. A sample of sherds is illustrated, 
including an irregularly impressed coarse red sandy 
ware body sherd (Figure 23.4) and a first century 
scratch-decorated jar rim (Figure 23.7). 

Winterbourne Stoke G33 (Figures 24 and 25) 

This barrow, SE of G32 and separated from it by 
some 20 m, lies at SU 10394310. The 1945 aerial 
photograph mentioned above shows the barrow as a 



Figure 23. Winterbourne Stoke G32: secondary collared urn (2), LBA (3) and R-B (4-8) pottery 

slightly chalky circular platform surrounded by a 
circular ditch, whilst a concentric outer bank appears 
as light chalky soil (Grinsell 1957, 224). 

The excavation plan (Figure 24) shows a circular 
ditch 24 m in overall diameter. No central mound area 
is shown, but the protected surface formerly buried 
beneath a narrow outer bank is shown in three of the 
four radial sections. A random scatter of stake-holes is 
shown over the interior of the barrow. Photographs 
indicate that the profile of the barrow had been 

severely reduced by ploughing; of its structure, only 
the broad, flat-bottomed ditch survived (Figure 25 

It is therefore assumed that no structural evidence 
was recovered from levels above the surface of the 
chalk bedrock. 

The excavator's summary report states that the 
primary oval-shaped grave cut into the natural chalk 
had been robbed. The robbed grave filling contained 
cremated human bone (typescript in archive). 



Winterbourne Stoke 


Figure 24. Winterbourne Stoke G33: site plan showing recorded features 

Although this grave is not shown on the plan (Figure 
24), it does appear at the centre of the barrow in some 
sections and one side of it is reproduced in the profile 
in Figure 25 C. No full cross-section is available and 
no written site records survive to provide further 
details of the excavation. 


Five sherds of pottery are preserved from the exca- 
vation of Winterbourne Stoke G33; they have no find 
numbers. A small sherd from an Early Bronze Age 

grog-tempered urn and a sherd of Late Bronze Age 
ware were found in the upper ditch fill, below the 
ploughsoil infilling. A sherd of Late Bronze Age 
haematite-coated bowl and two sherds of Romano- 
British pottery were found in the overlying former 
ploughsoil ('rainwash'). 

No material is illustrated from this barrow. 

Winterbourne Stoke G38 (Figures 26-28) 

The Silo group of barrows (Winterbourne Stoke 
G35-G41, see Figure 19), lying on the crest of 



Winterbourne Stoke 





5 10 15 20, 

Figure 25. Winterbourne Stoke G33: section drawing and profile 

Winterbourne Stoke Down at c. 110 m OD, consists 
of a curved line of two bell barrows and five bowl 
barrows (one a triple bowl barrow), extending W and 
SW of the Lesser Cursus. William Cunnington had 
previously excavated these and other members ol the 
group (Hoare 1810, Nos. 49-53), finding nothing 
except a flint arrowhead in G41. In 1961 Mrs Vatcher 
excavated two adjacent bowl barrows in the group, 
G38 (SU 10124344) and G39 (SU 10044342) (Grinsell 
1957, 202). Both are seen under arable conditions in 
the 1945 vertical aerial photograph (see G32, above). 
Neither is visible on the ground at the time of writing. 

The excavation plan (Figure 26) is incomplete, 
showing neither the limits of excavation nor the 
excavated ditch. The ditch sides are delineated by a 
broken line transferred from the drawn sections. The 
sections (Figure 27) show a deep ditch with a narrow, 
flat base c. 1.60 m below the modern surface and an 
overall diameter of c. 26.80 m. 

The barrow mound (Figure 27 E-E) had a surviv- 
ing diameter of 18.40 m, rising in height to 0.80 m 
above the chalk surface. The excavators' summary 
report states that 'the mound had been formed of 
turves, and this had been burnt so thoroughly that red 
and black scorching remained from modern surface 
down to old surface. Such results would have entailed 
the firing of the turves during construction of the 

mound, causing smouldering through the whole depth'. 
This accords with the 'marks of intense fire' noted by 
Hoare (1810, 165, 166n). The vestiges of an outer chalk 
envelope are recorded at the edges of the mound. 

A primary inurned cremation was found in 'a small 
hole' near the centre of the barrow (Find Nos. 56-59, 
Figures 26 and 28.1). Four stake-holes were observed 
by the excavators, forming an approximate rectangle 
around this primary cremation. In addition to other 
stakeholes recorded under the mound itself, there was 
an arc of stakeholes, concentric with the inner edge of 
the ditch, which may have partially enclosed the area 
to be covered by the mound or may even have 
revetted the mound itself. 

A further urn (Fig. 28.3) was found 'in the burnt 
mound material' and the base of a third urn (Figure 
28.4) 'on the turf mound'. A human skull was also 
recovered from the burnt mound material, in the SW 
quadrant. Whether any of these finds are primary or 
secondary to the barrow construction is uncertain. 

There were sixty-six recorded finds from G38, 
mainly of animal bone but including twenty pottery 

THE POTTERY (Figure 28) 

The Urns (Figure 28. 1,3 and 4) 
1, Find No 57: primary cremation urn (Figure 



Winterbourne Stoke G 38 

E^ <F 

i i 

i i_ 

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\ / - 

\ / ^ — — 1 1 — _ 

> \ - ! - -' 

/" ' 



/ / • 



/ / 


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' i ,-- 56 

_._._. f ._. J . . 

1 1 


1 1 
• i 

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\ \ 
\ \ • 
\ \ 
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\ /' ' / \ II 
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.:' / // 

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,'- > v ^ 

f 1 

1 i Probable line of ditch 

10 20 30 40 


5 10 




Figure 26. Winterbourne Stoke G38: site plan showing recorded features 

28.1). Collared urn of Longworth's (1984) Primary 
Series displaying Food Vessel traits (cf. Longworth 
Corpus Nos. 1737, Winterbourne Stoke G66; and 
1133, Egton Moor, N. Yorks.) Base missing. Fabric: 
smooth paste with fine to medium grog densely 
incorporated with occasional very large inclusions. 
Reduced core and interior; buff, lightly oxidized 
exterior. Diameter 217 mm. 

(An amber bead (Figure 28.2) was recovered in 
association with this urn, though its precise rela- 
tionship to the urn is unknown. Diameter: 4.2 mm; 
height: 3.5 mm.) 

2. Find Nos. 3 and 39: collared urn (Figure 28.3). 
Rim and neck only. Longworth (1984) Primary 
Series. Fabric: soft clay paste with medium grog 
densely incorporated with sparse, medium to large 
flints. Reduced core with orange-brown oxidized 
exterior and interior surfaces. Impressed decoration 
on rim bevel (horizontal and diagonal lines) and neck 
(diagonal lines). 

3. Find No. 51: base of urn (Figure 28.4). Fabric: 
densely tempered with medium to large grog part- 
icles. Very reduced core and interior, thin oxidization 
of the external surface layer. 



Winterbourne Stoke G 38 

Barrow centre 


Figure 27. Winterbourne Stoke G38: section drawings and profile 

Later Bronze Age Pottery (Figure 28. 5,6) 
The upper levels of ditch fill contained several sherds 
of Middle and Late Bronze Age pottery. Figure 28.5 
shows the rim and a body sherd of a flint-tempered 
urn. The expanded finger-tipped rim and applied 
vertical strips are features of Deverel-Rimbury barrel 
urns; however, the profile of this vessel is unclear 
since the only body sherd has a concave profile. 
Figure 28.6 shows a Late Bronze Age sand-tempered 
jar with triangular impressions around the shoulder. 
Owing to the high level of these finds in the ditch fill 
containing Romano-British sherds, it is probable that 
both vessels derive from a later settlement rather than 
from the continuing use of the barrow for burial. 

Romano-British Pottery (Figure 28. 7, 8). 

In total, thirteen sherds of Romano-British pottery 

were recovered from 'rainwash' (former ploughsoil) in 
the ditch and from modern ploughsoil on the mound. 
All are in an abraded condition. 


The surviving bone material is discussed by Lynne 
Bell in Appendix II. 

Winterbourne Stoke G39 (Figures 29-31) 

Barrow G39 lies 100 m SW of G38 in the same Silo 
group of barrows. It is shown by RCHM (1979, Map 
2) as a levelled round barrow (SU 10044342), 
although in 1961 it was perhaps the best preserved of 
all the round barrows excavated by Major and Mrs 
Vatcher. It had also been excavated by Cunnington, 



Figure 28. Winterbourne Stoke G38: primary collared urn (1), amber bead (2), collared urn (3), base of urn (4); LBA (5-6) 

and R-B (7-8) pottery 

and Colt Hoare (1810, 165) recorded a 'cist with 
ashes' near the centre. 

The site plan (Figure 29) shows the excavated area, 
although its limits are not recorded. At the centre is 
the small central cremation pit, which is thought to 
have contained a multiple cremation (Find Nos. 69, 
121, 122 and 123), surrounded by the Cunnington 
'hawk' (dotted line). The cremation pit is flanked by 
two rows each of five stake-holes, forming a trapezoi- 
dal structure. A scatter of charcoal surrounds and may 
have covered the central area which is delimited by a 
ring of 57 stake-holes, 11.50 m in diameter, broken by 

small gaps on the SE and NE sides. Beyond the stake 
holes are the edges of both the turf mound and the 
outer chalk covering, extending to 20 m in diameter. 
The ditch is 30 m in overall diameter. There is no 
record of whether the stakes penetrated the mound or 
not. Beyond this are clusters of further stake-holes, on 
the N and S sides. 

In section (Figure 30), two features are noteworthy: 
the deep, narrow ditch section, the flat base of which 
is 1.80 m below the modern surface; and the size of 
the turf core of the mound, still 1.10 m high at the 
time of excavation. One illustrated section (Figure 30 



Winterbourne Stoke , , 

G39 .. t M ! 


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fo =£EEi g g! *»f4. L _ • i * 

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• "'. p .-■' P- =Hi / 

1 , x x * -- 1 ' 

11 ' X- / / 

\ / ' % """' i i -' i -'' N \ ■ ' 

X X ' --. II | N X/ / 

4*?-«- j • ^ ^ 

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WM. -H 

" ^ - ' 'iiiiiiuiVL - - " . 

Charcoal scatter i i< «H i . 

i i . 

1 i 
Hawk (WCunnmgton) * J o 10 20 30 40 


,-WA 5 10 


Figure 29. Winterbourne Stoke G39: site plan showing recorded features 

K-K') shows the relationship between the turf core, 
the chalk envelope overstepping the buried turfline, 
and the ditch. 

The plan and sections are probably best considered 
after noting Mrs Vatcher's summary interpretation of 
the phasing (typescript in archive). 

[The] stake-hole circle . . . was probably contem- 
porary with a central trapezoidal mortuary house 
consisting of five stake-holes on each of two long 
sides. These stake-holes sloped inwards and it is 
probable that the stakes joined at the tops. The 

house was presumably used only for exposure of the 
corpse, as it was later burnt down and a shallow 
grave cut through the charcoal on the old land 
surface, in the centre of which had been the house, 
and a token amount of cremated bone placed in it. 
The mound of turves built over the by then 
decayed and broken off stake-holes did not conti- 
nue above [the] old land surface, and was capped 
with chalk from the deep slot ditch. 

The overstepping of the turfline by the outer chalk 
envelope may indicate the width of berm incorporated 



Winterbourne Stoke G 39 


Figure 30. Winterbourne Stoke G39: section drawings and profile 



before slumping of the mound sides (c. 3.50 m), 
unless the turfline represents only the area left after 
stripping of turf for the mound. 

D.C. Findlay, of the Soil Survey of England and 
Wales, visited the excavations and his report is repro- 
duced here because such detailed soil descriptions are 
not available for the other excavations in this account. 


In the central part of the barrow the sites of individual 
turves are still preserved in short lenses of flint and 
chalk rubble seen in vertical section. There has been 
some re-distribution of iron and manganese in this 
material, presumably during the period of slow 
breakdown of the turf resulting in rusty mottling 
which is fairly evenly distributed throughout. 

Between this dark coloured central portion and the 
chalk rubble heaped around it there was seen a diffuse 
zone of reddish-brown (5 YR 4/4) silty clay loam 
containing little chalk. It was thought that this mater- 
ial might have represented the deeper layers of the soil 
after turf removal, thrown up in the early stages of 
ditch digging. However, the turves of the inner 
mound contain no red-brown although they were cut 
down to the rubbly subsoil, nor was there any 
reddish-brown layer seen in what was believed to be 
the original soil buried beneath the centre of the 
barrow. No alternative explanation for this reddish- 
brown soil is obvious at the moment but the sequence: 
dark coloured (organic) soil - reddish-brown, lime free 
soil low in organic matter - chalk rubble, is what might 
be expected in a mature chalk soil, i.e. there may be 
some process which produces a brown layer between 
organic rich soil and chalk which does not require that 
the former need necessarily be above the latter. 

The in-filling of the ditch consisted of the following 
layers :- 

1 Coarse chalk rubble with voids. 

2 Fine chalk rubble with few voids, partly re- 

3 9" dark brown to dark reddish-brown silty clay 
loam with many flint fragments but no chalk. 
Contains fine secondary carbonate throughout. 

4 4" stoneless dark brown silty clay loam. 

5 About 9-12" very chalky grey brown silty clay 
loam, 'plough layer'. 


No primary or secondary urns were recovered from 

The pottery is best considered by context rather 

Figure 31. Winterbourne Stoke G39: Beaker (1) and R-B 
(2) pottery 

than period groups, since the stratification of this 
barrow, although disturbed by animal burrowing, is 
more detailed than that of the other sites. 

Pre-barrow ground surface 

In an area near the 'south side of the mortuary 
house' were found a beaker sherd and some small 
Early Bronze Age sherds. In the NW quadrant, a 
comb-decorated Beaker rim sherd (Figure 31.1) was 
in the turfline. 

Turf mound 

A grog-tempered urn sherd and a smaller sherd of 
Beaker or Early Bronze Age fabric were found in the 
turf mound, as were two intrusive Romano-British 
sherds. That there was some subsequent disturbance 
of the mound is shown in the section (Figure 30) and 
in the animal bone report, below. Part of a New 
Forest jar (Figure 31.2) was found near the centre of 
the barrow, at the level of the turfline. 

Ploughsoil levels in ditch fill 

The 'rainwash', ploughsoil in the upper ditch fill, 
contained a beaker sherd, two Middle Bronze Age 
sherds and seventeen Romano-British sherds. 

Turfline over ditch fill 

This level contained a Romano-British sherd and 
three post-medieval sherds. 

Modern ploughsoil 

The cultivated surface layer of the barrow con- 
tained a sherd of Middle Bronze Age ware and seven 
Romano-British sherds. 



The cremated human bone from barrow G39 is 
discussed by Lynne Bell in Appendix II. From the 
central grave seven individuals were identified by 
weight, or five by MIN assessment: one neonate, one 
child of 4—5 months and one adolescent; the 
remainder were adults. One adult was identified from 
a separate cremation. 


A full report on the identification of animal bones 
from G39, by Mark Maltby of the Faunal Remains 
Project, University of Southampton, is in the archive. 
From the old land surface and the mound a collection 
of bones identified was dominated by cattle, with 
small quantities of sheep/goat bones and, uniquely 
amongst the barrows in this report, pig bones. Bones 
were recovered only from the upper ditch layers, and 
included cattle, sheep/goat, horse and red deer, some 
of which may have been of Romano-British date. 

Badger bones were found at all levels; they include 
a skull and a partial skeleton. An immature dog or fox 
mandible may be associated with opportunistic 
occupation of a badger sett by other animals. Water 
vole and frog bones from the old ground surface 
possibly represent prey regurgitated for cubs. Since 
these remains must come from intrusive deposits it 
can be assumed that the burrows were not identified 
nor their contents segregated during excavation. 

Winterbourne Stoke G46, G47, G49 and G50 

North of the Lesser Cursus and next to the Ammu- 
nition Depot on the Rollestone-Larkhill road stood a 
barrow group comprising four disc barrows, a bell 
barrow and three bowl barrows (Figure 19). Of these, 
only the bell barrow, Winterbourne Stoke G48, now 
survives. A 1945 aerial photograph (RAF 106G/UK/ 
915/4206) shows that the western part of the group, 
those barrows discussed here, were already levelled 
and not visible under stubble conditions. In the 
summer of 1961, Mrs Vatcher excavated a bowl 
barrow, G46, and three disc barrows, G47, G49 and 
G50, all of which lay at 107 m OD. Three (G46, 49 
and 50) had been excavated by Cunnington (Hoare 
1810, 166). 

Winterbourne Stoke G46 (Figures 32-35) 

This bowl barrow (Hoare's No. 57; Grinsell 1957, 
202; SU 10394425) had been excavated by Cunn- 
ington, and Hoare (loc. cit.) refers to a burial 


accompanied by a possible bronze dagger, a whet- 
stone, bone 'tweezers' and other bone implements, all 
now lost. 

The plan (Figure 32) shows the excavated area of 
the mound and part of the ditch. The ditch has an 
overall diameter of 23 m, and is some 4.50 m in width 
between the outer edges of the weathering cone. The 
plan does not define the extent of the mound. The 
section (Figure 33 P-P') shows a slight surviving 
mound, only 0.20 m below ploughsoil level, on a 
buried turfiine 12.90 m in diameter. 

Cunnington's excavation does not appear in section 
and was possibly, but rather surprisingly not visible in 
such slight stratigraphy. The ditch is broad and 
shallow, and although the weathering cone is more 
marked on the inner edge, there is no pronounced 
asymmetry in the ditch fill. This suggests that a 
moderate berm surrounded the mound, and that the 
inner face of the ditch, up which the mound material 
was moved, was cut to a more gentle profile. 

Uniquely amongst the excavations described in this 
report, a brief record of layer descriptions was made 
by a site assistant during the excavation. This is 
summarized below: 

1 Humus layer 

2 Plough soil; a light brown soil with some chalk 
and flints 'containing a fair spread of struck 


3 A finer light brown soil with chalk and small 
stones (flints): buried ploughsoil 

4 A band of fine darker soil: turfiine between 
buried ploughsoils 

5 A lighter soil fill: buried ploughsoil 

6 A 'wash' of clay-with-flints, presumably from 

7 Secondary silt of chalky earth 

8 Primary silt; chalk lumps in bottom of ditch 

9 Chalky spread over clay-with-flints (10); make 
up of the mound 

10 Clay-with-flints: make up of mound 

1 1 Red brown turf-like clay core of mound 

12 Clay-with-flints: buried soil beneath mound 

No central burial was located. However, two deposits 
of cremated bone were found in small pits in the SW 
and NE quadrants at the periphery of the mound or 
perhaps on the berm. The two cremations were 
probably secondary. 

In the southern radial trench, 3 m outside the 
barrow ditch, a small Collared Urn (Find No. 124) 
was recovered from an unrecorded level surrounded 



Winterbourne Stoke 


Area excavated 


20 iO 6D 60 „ 

»•• • 

10 15 

25 JO 

Figure 32. Winterbourne Stoke G46: site plan showing recorded features 



Winterbourne Stoke 





Figure 33. Winterbourne Stoke G46; section drawings 

by a concentration of stake-holes. It is uncertain 
whether this is part of a secondary cremation of which 
the cremated bone was not recovered, or whether it 
could have been associated with the burial rite at the 
time of the construction of the barrow. Only rarely 
have barrow excavations included an extensive exam- 
ination of the areas outside the monuments them- 

Sherds of a second urn of unknown type (Find Nos. 
126 and 134), were found with fragments of cremated 
bone in weathered mound material under the S baulk 
(Fig. 32). This seems to have been a secondary 

cremation. A further area of cremated bone was 
observed in the ditch fill in the SE quadrant. 

the POTTERY (Figure 34) 

Pre-barrow pottery (Figure 34. 1-3) 
In a chalk and flint layer at the top of the primary fill 
of the ditch were two sherds of flint-tempered Wind- 
mill Hill ware (Figure 34. 1 and 2), as well as four 
Beaker sherds (e.g. Figure 34.3). This level also 
contained four Early Bronze Age sherds and four 
Romano-British sherds, and must comprise material 

Figure 34. Winterbourne Stoke G46: Neolithic (1-3) and Bronze Age (4-6) pottery 


which eroded into the ditch from the expanding 
weathering cone. 

The urns (Figure 34.4 and 5) 

1. Find No. 124: small collared urn, base missing 
(Figure 34.4). In Longworth's (1984) typology: a 
Collared Urn of the Secondary Series, Form BII. 
Fabric: sparse grog temper with a few large flint grits. 
Reduced core with slight oxidization of interior sur- 
face and oxidized outer surface. Rim bevelled 
inwards; slight thickening above shoulder suggests 
collar (without overhang). Impressed cord decoration 
between shoulder and rim in alternate horizontal and 
vertical panels. 

2. Find Nos. 126 and 134: body sherds and base 
sherd of urn (Figure 34.5). Fabric: dense grog 
temper with moderate density of small to medium 
flint grits. Reduced core and interior; oxidized outer 

Other Early Bronze Age pottery 
Small sherds of urn fabric were found: in the lower 
ditch fill (1 sherd); 'rainwash' from mound (4); chalk 
and flint upper primary ditch fill (4); buried turfline 
over ditch ( 5 ) ; base of ploughsoil in ditch (5 ); turf core 
of mound (5); base of ploughsoil over mound (1). 
None of this material can be identified as belonging to 
specific vessel types. 

Late Bronze Age pottery (Figure 34.6) 
In the surviving surface on the SW side of the mound 
were found forty sherds of Late Bronze Age date. One 
incomplete vessel (Find No. 135: Figure 34.6) is a 
necked bowl in a sandy micaceous fabric with sparse, 
medium-sized flint temper. In form this vessel is a 
very shallow broad-mouthed version of the tall- 
necked bowls of the Late Bronze Age earlier All 
Cannings Cross phase. 

Romano-British pottery 

Four sherds were found at the top of the 'primary' fill 

of the ditch. 

worked flint (Figure 35) 


A fine end scraper was found on the reduced surface 

of the mound in the SW quadrant. 

Figure 35. Winterbourne Stoke G46: flint scraper 


There were only six finds of animal bone from the 
barrow. These have been identified by Mark Maltby 
whose report is in the archive. Only some fragments 
of sheep/goat skull from the turf mound were stra- 
tified within the barrow structure. A group of bones 
from the hindlimb of a red deer, two finds of partial 
dog skeletons ('suspiciously modern') with rabbit and 
unidentified bird bones, and a group of amphibian 
bones all came from the surface of the mound. 

Winterbourne Stoke G47 (Figures 36-40) 

This large disc barrow does not appear to have been 
excavated by Cunnington, although the finds book of 
the 1961 excavation does report a find 'from Colt 
Hoare Hawk'. Part One of the Devizes Museum 
Catalogue attributes an undecorated collared urn to 
this barrow (Cunnington and Goddard 1896, 69, No. 
261 and Annable and Simpson 1964, 63, No. 503). 
This is probably incorrect and a result of the confused 
state in which the Stourhead Collection arrived at 
Devizes Museum. 

The barrow (Grinsell 1957, 221; SU 10504430) was 
situated at 107 m OD on chalk capped by a thin cover 
of clay-with-flints. 

The plan (Figure 36) and structure of the barrow 
are best described first in Mrs Vatcher's summary 
(MS in the archive): 


A report on the cremated bone from G46, by Justine 
Bayley, appears in Appendix I. 

1) Small stake structure, later burnt, of which 3 
stake-holes found on scatter of charcoal on OLS. 
This charcoal mainly to NE, and ran under flint 
wall there showing burning took place before 
stake circle and bank. If stake circle had been 
standing it would either have . . . burnt down for 



- <Q 

Winterbourne Stoke 


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• Stokeholes 

• Possible stokeholes 

above ,,| -\J?- 

5 10 15 20 25 

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20 40 

Figure 36. Winterbourne Stoke G47: site plan showing recorded features 

which no evidence, or the charcoal would have 
been contained within it. 
2) Stake circle . . . probably supported hurdling 
.... A turf bank was placed at the base of the 
stakes, probably after hurdling attached, and 
behind this bank there was a flint wall. The turf 
of OLS had been dug out in a shallow trench 
behind the turf bank and under the flints to 
provide material for the bank. Chalk rubble and 
soil had been replaced on which to bed the flints. 

Up to and over the flints there had been piled a 
chalk bank, the inner edge of which still came up 
to the stake circle on the N/NW, but elsewhere 
like everything else had been decapitated by 
ploughing. The chalk bank remained 6' [1.80 m] 
wide approximately. At intervals around its outer 
edge stakes had been stuck in after its construc- 
tion; they did not go far into weathered chalk. 
There were some larger posts 3" to 5" diameter, 
intermittently under the chalk bank . . . . On the 



E/SE side there had been an entrance into the 
circle marked by a passage, about 7' [2.13 m] 
long, of stake-holes. 

3) The central grave was dug, and the cremation 
placed at the base, probably inside a leather 
garment as there was a dark brownish layer on the 
bottom. Three amber beads were brought out 
intact and some fragments; between 20 and 30 flat 
jet beads. A bronze knife rested on the remains of 
a scabbard, and on its tip was a bronze awl. A 
piece of what appeared to be stitched leather belt 
was beside the knife tip. The upper part of the 
grave was filled with ash and a few fragments of 
cremated bone, presumably swept up. The chalk 
thrown out from the grave digging was pulled 
back partially over the top, and a rather incom- 
plete double ring of stakes placed in this and just 
behind/outside it. 

4) When (later) . . . the circle at the . . . junction 
with its passage had started to give way slightly, 
allowing a small spill of chalk just inside, the 
whole of the centre was filled with turf. A further 
collapse of chalk bank inwards at the entrance 
overlay some of the turf, sandwiching it over the 
earlier chalk fill. The turf for the centre was in all 
probability obtained from the berm; the ditch 
would already have been dug, supplying the flints 
and chalk for the retaining wall as well as the 
material for the outer bank. 

5) A secondary grave under a small mound was 
placed on the berm to the east of the circle. A 
circular hole which had been lined with some 

form of basketwork, of which miniature 
stakeholes remained, had contained a cremation 
with a bronze awl. . . 

This manuscript description, which was never 
intended for publication, has been reproduced here at 
length because it is the only source for much of the 
important detail it contains. The plan (Figure 36) and 
sections (Figure 37) contain little of the evidence of 
phasing reported in the manuscript, and there is no 
plan of the arrangement of grave-goods in the central 

Mrs Vatcher describes an almost henge-like struc- 
ture with a concentric arrangement of stake circle, 
turf wall, flint wall and chalk bank, and a passage 
entrance. The stake circle and flint wall can be 
confirmed from the plan; neither the turf wall nor the 
trench under the flint wall from which the turf was cut 
can be found on plan or by close comparison of the 
section (Figure 37 Q-Q') with the plan. The inner 
chalk bank surrounding and covering the flint wall is 
outlined on plan, including the internal 'spill' at the 
SE; it would normally be interpreted as the base of the 
outer chalk envelope over a turf core. The drawn 
sections are not helpful since the depth of strata which 
survived ploughing is minimal. 

The secondary burial is not recorded in detail on 
the plan and the finds were not entered in the finds 
book; but the location is almost certainly marked as a 
hachured grave-pit in the east baulk (Figure 36). 

Little is known of the internal structures of disc 
barrows (see Grinsell 1974) of which Winterbourne 
Stoke G47 is an important example, both for the 

Winterbourne Stoke G 47 

7C R < 

Figure 37. Winterbourne Stoke G47: section drawings 




f\ * 



12 3 4 5 

Figure 38. Winterbourne Stoke G47 and G50: small finds 



simpler form preserved in plan, and the full sequence 
of structural elements perceived by the excavator. 


Dagger (Figure 38.1) 

Flat riveted dagger; No. 91 in Sabine Gerloff s corpus 
of copper and bronze daggers from Great Britain 
(Gerloff 1975, 65 and 1.8.91), where it was catalogued 
under 'miscellaneous fiat blades' and erroneously 
attributed to Avebury Museum (understandably, 
since information about the dagger came from its 
excavator, writing as Curator of the Alexander Keiller 
Museum at Avebury). Gerloff describes this example 
as 'Dagger with peaked heel, three small rivet-holes; 
rivets not preserved; flat-curved hilt-mark; section 
thickens towards centre of blade.' The dagger's 
measurements were not available to Gerloff who did 
not see the object itself: they are: length: 127 mm; 
width: 37 mm. 

The dagger has been conserved since Gerloffs 
description was made, and a single row of pointille 
dots can now be seen on the curve of the hilt mark. 
The blade in fact has a very weak mid-rib, being of 
flattened lozenge form in section rather than lenticu- 
lar. The surfaces are evenly patinated dark green. 

What the excavator believed to be leather scabbard 
fragments adhering to the dagger are replaced textile 
fragments. During conservation M.C. Corfield, for- 
merly Conservation Officer, Wiltshire Library and 
Museum Service, submitted these fragments to Elisa- 
beth Crowfoot, whose report follows. 


The fragments of organic material from this burial are 
formed of vegetable fibres crushed together, most of 
them lying in one direction, though in places others 
can be seen lying across. One detached fragment from 
the dagger, c. 1.0 x 0.5 cm overall, has remains of a 
horizontal line of threads going across vertical fibres; 
and in a small clearer area, 0.6 x 0.35 cm, three 
bundles of fibres, in parts lightly S-twisted, lie side by 
side, with remains of two slightly Z-twisted threads 
twining horizontally: in one place the thread appar- 
ently goes twice round a bundle, two cross threads 
lying close together c. 2 mm apart. H.M. Appleyard, 
FTI, to whom a sample of the fibres was sent for 
identification, describes them as certainly of vegetable 
origin, possibly a coarse grass or rush, although at this 
stage of deterioration it is impossible to say which. 

In spite of their condition, the appearance of the 
remains suggests the 'moss-fabrics' from a number of 

Figure 39. Twined weave as in moss fabrics 

Bronze and Iron Age burials in Britain described by 
Audrey S. Henshall (1950, 152-155; Appendix D, 
162). These are all in twined technique (Figure 39), 
with the lines of cross-twisting wefts spaced at varying 
intervals, from 3 in apart to i in apart. The same 
technique is used for a 'net' fabric found with a vessel 
of the Late Bronze Age in Denmark (Broholm and 
Hald 1940, 104). All the British weaves, where identi- 
fiable, are of vegetable fibre, some of the sedge, 
Scirpus lacustris, and others moss, Polytnchum 

The Greenlands Farm scrap seems to be much finer 
than these other examples, as fine indeed as the 
similarly twined fabrics from the Swiss Lake Villages, 
identified as of flax (Vogt 1937, 19-20), though it is 
difficult to judge from such deteriorated scraps and 
only part of one row of wefts. 

The Swiss pieces, and a grass fragment found with 
a Middle Bronze Age urn from Martinstown, Dorset, 
are described as bags and the Danish fragments as 
perhaps part of a woman's corded skirt; but Audrey 
Henshall points out that other British examples are 
obviously from larger pieces, in some cases described 
as wrapping or covering the body, and suggests these 
should be interpreted as a loose form of matting, used 
in the same way as the twined reed shrouds in early 
Egyptian burials (Henshall 1950, 155; Petrie and 
Quibell 1896, 24). 

The excavator's notes on the Greenlands Farm 
grave describe the remains as attached to the under- 
side of the dagger, together with organic matter 
thought at first to be leather, of which possible traces 
were also found in a dark layer at the base of the pit. A 
leather-like appearance was noted in the much later 
crushed deteriorated matter found in an Anglo-Saxon 
grave in Suffolk (Crowfoot 1973, 53), and this was 
identified by Dr D.F. Cutler (Royal Botanic Gardens, 
Kew) as all of the same flax as the linen tabby weave 



found with it. It is possible that, in spite of their 
appearance, all the remains in the Greenlands Farm 
grave come from the same grass or rush matting used 
to wrap the body. 

Bronze awl. (Figure 38.2) 

Point round and tang rectangular in section. Partly 
patinated dark green, with powdery areas of corro- 
sion. Length: 35 mm; Width: 2 mm. 

Amber beads (Figure 38. 3-6) 

Two large oblate cylindrical beads (Figure 38. 3 and 
4) with longitudinal borings of cylindrical form; 
average length: 25 mm; average width: 10 mm. Two 
small sub-spherical beads (Figure 38. 5 and 6) with 
cylindrical perforations; average diameter: 6 mm. 

Shale beads (Figure 38.7). 

Thirty discoidal beads, probably of shale, and thirty 
fragments of similar beads (selection illustrated). 
Average diameter: 5 mm; thickness: 1-2 mm. 

Possible leather bag or garment 

Samples were retained by the excavator of a 'brown 
substance from the base of cremation centre' which 
was thought to represent the remains of a leather 
garment in which the cremation had been placed. 
M.C. Corfield reports on his examination of the 
sample as follows: 

'The sample was sieved through a 1 mm 2 mesh, 
observing the process under x 10 stereomicroscope. It 
was found to comprise a uniform mix of soil particles, 
charcoal, bone and chalk. Two microscopic fragments 
of metal were recovered, one of gold, the second of 


Bronze awl (Figure 38.8) 

Point round and tang rectangular in section. Length: 

39 mm; width: 2 mm. 


Beaker pottery 

Some joining sherds of a beaker with impressed 
decoration (not illustrated) were recovered; they have 
no find numbers, and their find spots are not known. 

Middle Bronze Age pottery (Figure 40. 1 and 2) 
A rim of a flint tempered urn, probably a bucket urn 
with a finger-tipped expanded rim (Figure 40. 1; Find 
No. 12) was found 'on edge of cut into old land 
surface below flint wall'. A second rim of a smaller 
vessel in a vesicular flint-and-grog-tempered fabric 
(Figure 40.2; Find No. 34) was found on the 
weathered chalk on the berm of the barrow. 

Late Bronze Age pottery 

A sherd of plain jar form was found on the surface of 

the 'secondary chalk silt' in the outer ditch. 

Romano-British pottery 

Two sherds were found in ploughsoil at the edge of 

the mound. 

Cremated bone 

A report by Justine Bayley (Appendix I) follows 

descriptions of the other barrows in this group. 

Animal bone 

Seven finds of animal bone were examined by Mark 
Maltby. Red deer antler, sheep and cattle fragments 
were identified, none from well-sealed deposits. 

Winterbourne Stoke G49 (Figures 41 and 43) 

This disc barrow (Grinsell 1957, 221; SU 10474435) 
like its neighbour G50, was badly ploughed down in 
1961. Both appear to have been excavated by Cunn- 
ington; Hoare's note (1810, 166n) refers to finds from 
two disc barrows in this group: i) interment and 
'broken dart of brass'; ii) burnt bones, a few small 

i i 

Figure 40. Winterbourne Stoke G47: Middle Bronze Age pottery 



Winterbourne Stoke 








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Figure 41. Winterbourne Stoke G49: site plan showing recorded features 

amber rings and beads, also jet beads and point of 
'brass dart'. 

The excavation plan (Figure 41) shows an empty 
central grave surrounded by an irregular stake ring, 
6.70 m in diameter, with other stake structures inside 
the ring. The surrounding ditch, 53.50 m in overall 
diameter, is shown in section (Figure 43 T-T') 

to have been approximately 2.40 m in Width 
before weathering, with a flat base c. 1.40 m below 
the modern surface. The section shows the charac- 
teristic levelling of the fill with a buried ploughsoil 
beneath an almost horizontal A horizon from the 
grassland soil which had developed before modern 




Only four finds were obtained from the excavation. A 
grog-tempered urn sherd was found in the top of the 
empty grave and another was found near the centre of 
the mound, at the base of the modern ploughsoil. A 
sherd of nineteenth century earthenware was found 
above the pre-ploughing turfiine in the ditch, with a 
burnt flint at the same depth. 

Winterbourne Stoke G50 (Figures 38.9, 42 and 43) 
This disc barrow (Grinsell 1957, 221; SU 10544438), 

also ploughed level by the time of excavation, had 
been dug by Cunnington and its robbed central grave 
must have contained one of the grave groups noted by 
Hoare (see G49, above). 

The central grave pit, in addition to skeletal mater- 
ial which was always left in graves excavated by 
Cunnington and Colt Hoare, contained a bronze awl 
which had been missed at the base of the grave. Since 
the two burials from G49 and G50 were both crema- 
tions it is not possible to suggest which of the two 
grave groups reported by Hoare comes from this 

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Figure 42. Winterbourne Stoke G50: site plan showing recorded features 



Winterbourne Stoke G 49 and G 50 

T HWWW??^ 

Figure 43. Winterbourne Stoke G49: and G50: section drawings 

The central grave (Figure 42) was surrounded by a 
stake circle 7.30 m in diameter, as well as a scatter of 
additional stake-holes which may have included an 
entrance to the SE side. Indeed in both G49 and G50 
the majority of apparently superfluous stake-holes are 
to the SE of the burial. 

The surrounding ditch, 41.50 m in overall dia- 
meter, was similar in dimensions, form and nature of 
filling to that of G49 (Figure 43 S-S'). Again no trace 
of external bank appears to have been found. 


Bronze awl (Figure 38.9) 

Round-section point; short, square-section 

Length: 52 mm; width: 3 mm. 



A human skull was found in the W side of the ditch at 
a depth of 0.9 m. It is discussed by Lynne Bell in 
Appendix II. 


A Late Bronze Age sherd was found above the central 
grave, presumably in backfill of the earlier excavation. 
A Romano-British sherd and a few animal bones were 
found in the overlying ploughsoil. 

Acknoivledgements . The writer wishes to express his gratitude 
to Rosemary Dawson and Martin Trott for assistance with 
the archive, and Liz James for preparing the illustrations. 
Note. The finds from and records for these excavations have 
been deposited in the Salisbury and South Wiltshire 

Cremated bone 

A report by Justine Bayley (Appendix I) appears 


Appendix I: Report on the Cremations from Greenlands Farm, Winterbourne 



Six cremations from three barrows were examined. 
Two from G47 and G50 were from disturbed central 
graves. The rest came from other parts of the burial 

The bone is mostly well calcined and not very 
friable. The fragments vary in size from pieces over 10 
cm long down to those only a few millimetres across. 

Some of the cremations must have been deliberately 
crushed after burning as no large pieces survive. 
Others appear to have been buried as they were; for 
example, the cremation from G46 (NE quadrant) 
whose mandible and maxilla are preserved in suffi- 
ciently large pieces that almost the complete dental 
formula can be recorded. 




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Most parts of the body are represented in all the 
cremations, except that from G46 (SE quadrant) 
where ony a few small fragments survive. Table 2 
shows the weights of the different parts of the body 
identified and their relative proportions expressed as a 
percentage of the total weight distribution of the 
identified bone fragments. For comparison, the 
weight distribution for a complete skeleton of unbur- 
ned bones is also given. It can be seen that in the 
cremations the long bones and skull are over- 
represented. This is as expected since they are the 
larger, more robust bones and when they break, they 
do so in characteristic and easily recognisable ways. 
The less dense bones such as vertebrae disintegrate, 
and the small bones of the extremities break into 
unrecognisable fragments. 

None of the cremations contains recognisable 
juvenile bones or teeth. None contains any obviously 
duplicated bones and so each deposit probably repre- 
sents the remains of only one adult individual. 

G46 (SW quadrant) 

Very slight osteo-arthritic lipping was observed on the 
articulations of the vertebrae and long bones. Parts of 
18 tooth roots are preserved, representing mainly 
anterior teeth. No sexing was possible. The individual 
was adult. 

The cremation remains also include some clinker. 

G46 (SE quadrant) 

Only a few bones were preserved; they are probably 


G46 (NE quadrant) 

No degenerative joint disease was observed. The jaws 

are very well preserved, as mentioned above, giving a 
dental formula: 
--654321 12 3 4 5 6 7- 

87654321 123456- - missing) 

Parts of the roots of 6 molars and 6 anterior teeth were 
also preserved. This individual had healthy teeth and 
was probably a young adult. 

The cremation also included a few charcoal frag- 
ments, which were identified as oak. 

G47 (central grave) 

There is medium osteo-arthritic lipping on one 
lumbar spine but there are no other traces of 
degenerative joint disease. One upper right molar 
(probably 7] ) has a dental abscess. 

No sexing was possible but the age was at least 25 
and probably older. 

G47 (east baulk) 

No traces of degenerative joint disease were observed 
which indicates that the remains are probably those of 
a young adult. The central part of the mandible 
survives showing that both the lower canines were 
double rooted. 

No sexing was possible. 

G50 (central grave) 

Some vertebrae show medium bony lipping due to 

degenerative joint disease (osteo-arthritis). Part of the 

sacro-iliac joint is preserved and shows the same 


No sexing was possible, but the individual was at 
least 25 and probably older. 

Appendix II: Report on the Human Remains from Barrows G12, G13, G38, 

G39 and G50 



Human bone from a total of five Bronze Age sites, 
G12, G13, G38, G39 and G50 was received for 
examination. The bone was present as a mixture of 
inhumations, cremated and disarticulated bone, and 
was almost invariably in a poor state of preservation. 
Wherever possible age (Todd 1920, Stewart 1979, 
Warwick and Williams 1980, Brothwell 1981, van 
Beek 1983 and Bass 1985); sex (Stewart 1979, Broth- 

well 1981 and Bass 1985); and stature (Trotter and 
Gleser 1952 and 1958) have been documented, 
alongside any biometrical, morphological (HBMC 
n.d.) and pathological findings (Steinbock 1976 and 
Ortner and Putschar 1985). An extended discussion of 
each find is contained within the appended Catalogue. 
Preservation of all five groups is very poor. All 
non-cremated bone has undergone post-mortem frag- 


mentation, with considerable rootlet damage to surfaces 
both at a macro and micro level. The cremated bone is 
largely all well calcined, but at low temperatures. There 
is little deformation or darkly charred material present in 
any of the groups. A wide range of maximum fragment 
lengths are represented, suggesting both selective retrie- 
val for large fragments and deliberate pounding for small 
fragments (Gejvall 1969 and Brothwell 1981). The 
cremadon weights have been useful for minimum 
numbers of individuals (MIN) assessments, but further 
analysis of the parts of the body represented across a 
population have not been possible, due to the small 
numbers of cremations involved. 

The results of investigation of age, sex, stature, 
morphology and pathology are first summarised by 
site. Detailed discussion of each burial deposit, by its 
find number, follows under the respective barrow 

G12 produced a total of seventeen individuals: 
inhumations comprising four adults and one 10-year- 
old child; disarticulated bone producing, by MIN 
assessment, four adults and one child of less than 10 
years; and cremations comprising five adults, one 
sub-adult and one child of 6-10 months. Only in one 
case, 161 abc, it is possible to identify sex (male). No 
morphology is present and pathology is restricted to 
160 abc, which displays dental abscesses, caries and 
slight enamel hypoplasia, with slight arthritic changes 
in the spine; 161 abc, which has four dental abscesses 
plus caries with pulp exposure; and 163 which has 
Schmorl's nodes present at T5 and T6, with one 
lumbar vertebra presenting wedging and pitting. 

G13 produced a total of two inhumations, one of 
which is anomalous and the other a possible adult 
female. 233 abc, the central inhumation, presents as 
either two possible skeletons which have been exca- 
vated as one, or if one adult skeleton is truly repre- 
sented, then as an adult with a considerably delayed 
dentition of 12-15 years. This skeleton also has a 
healed linear fracture on the base of the skull, 4 cm 
long, with sub-periosteal new bone present on the 
humerus. For a full discussion of this skeleton, see 
Catalogue. 236 ab has a dental abscess and Aliens 
fossa present on the left femur. 

G38 produced one adult cremation. 

G39 (single grave cremation material) produced a 
total of seven individuals by weight or five individuals 
by MIN assessment of identified bone: one neonate, 
one child of 4-5 months and one adolescent, the rest 
being adult. The remaining cremated material, 
unconnected with the single grave, represents one 
adult. Therefore, a total of 6+2 individuals were 
present in G39. 


G50 produced one partial adult (skull fragments 
only). The bone is not cremated. 

The primary data archive is available for inspec- 
tion, if required, by contacting the author at the 
Mineralised Tissue Unit, Department of Anatomy 
and Developmental Biology, University College 
London, Gower Street, London WC1. 

Woodford G12 


160a, b and c 

This is a crouched skeleton from the NW quadrant of 
the barrow. It is - as is all the Vatcher material 
examined - in a fragmentary state, with much evi- 
dence of extensive rootlet damage to surfaces, both 
macroscopic and microscopic. 

The skeleton is of indeterminate sex and aged 
between 35^45 years. No long bone lengths were 
obtainable and so a stature calculation was not pos- 
sible. The skeleton is, however, well represented. 
Dental pathology is present and is represented below: 

A A A A 



876543211234 5XX8 
C A A A 

The dentition has a total of seven abscesses, two teeth 
lost ante mortem and one carious tooth. Enamel 
hypoplasia is present as slight macroscopic ridging on 
incisors, canines and premolars, both top and bottom. 
The molars present give an age of between 35 — 45 

Osteoarthritic changes are present in the spine. LI 
to L5 have osteophytic lipping flaring away from 
vertebral bodies' articular margins, mostly on the 
medial aspect, both superiorly and posteriorly. T12 to 
T8 also appear affected but less so. However, the 
general distribution of these changes is shrouded by 
the considerable post mortem damage present in the 
spine. Therefore osteoarthritic changes can be noted, 
but no more deduced. 

161a, b and c 

This skeleton is described as a secondary crouched 
burial from the west axis of the barrow in the mound 
material. It is considered male, aged between 35-45 



years. A stature estimate was not possible, although 
the skeleton is quite well represented. 

No pathology other than dental pathology is 
present. A representation of dentition is presented 


7 6 5 4 3 2 1 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 


87654321 1234567 



E C C 

Attrition gives an age of 35-45 years. Four abscesses 
are present in association with carious teeth with pulp 
exposure. No antemortem loss is apparent, or enamel 

162a, b and c 

This is a secondary crouched burial from the south 
axis of the barrow in the mound material. Its sex is 
indeterminate and it is aged between 17-25 years. A 
stature estimate is between 167.7 and 172.3 cm. The 
skeleton is well represented but poorly preserved. 

The age of the skeleton could be considered towards 
the 25 year mark, as all the epiphyses are completely 
fused. The dentition, however, can give a no more 
specific age than 17-25 years. The dentition appears 
intact and no pathology is apparent, other than slight 
hypoplastic ridges present on the upper incisors. The rest 
of the skeleton exhibits no obvious pathology. 

Miscellaneous bone. 

162c contains several miscellaneous human bone frag- 
ments found 'in a rabbit hole near skeleton'. These 
bones cannot be securely related to the above skele- 
ton, and so have been considered as 'extra bone'. 

163 (found in association with 165) 
This skeleton is of indeterminate sex, and adult in 
age. A stature estimate was not possible and the 
skeleton is poorly represented and preserved. Patho- 
logical changes are noted in the spine. Schmorl's 
nodes are present at facing surfaces of T5 and T6 and 
on opposing surfaces. One lumbar body present is 
wedge shaped and heavily pitted with minute holes on 
its superior aspect. Osteophytic lipping is also present 
along the articular margin. However, as preservation 
is poor these changes are noted but nothing more can 
be deduced. 


As mentioned above, 165 was found in association 
with 163. This child of approximately 10 years was 
found as a secondary burial at the base of the plough 
soil; it may have disturbed 163 which could represent 
the remains of a primary burial. The dentition is 
represented below: 

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 

1\(D®(D^\* CHILD 

12 3 4 5 6 7 

* e still in place over erupting 5 

The cranial sutures are unfused as is the proximal 
aspect of the ulna. The vertebrae are fused except for 
the end plates. This evidence, together with that of the 
dentition, gives an approximate age of 10 years. No 
pathology is evident. 

Disarticulated human material 

This material comes mostly from three areas: the SE 
quadrant, SW quadrant and the central area. All the 
material is unstratified and has been treated as disarti- 
culated bone. The minimum number of individuals 
has been estimated as follows: 

SE quadrant: 2 adults 
SW quadrant: 1 adult 
central area: 1 adult 
1 child 


5 individuals 

The material is documented below in brief catalogue 

// (SW quadrant) 

5 animal bone fragments. 

75 (south ditch) 

No bones. Collection of chalk deposit material. 

19 (central area) 

2 femoral head fragments, which are of two distinct 
sizes, one of which had recently fused prior to death. 
1 left ilium articular surface. 
1 acromial fragment. 

20 (NE quadrant) 

Skull fragments: large parietal fragment. 

1 small fragment of right orbit including orbital 

Post cranial: 1 mid-shaft large tibial fragment. 



2 fitting mid-shaft fibula fragments. 

Proximal fragment of left ulna. 

Pelvis: 3 fragments of fused pubis, ischium and 


2 shafts of metacarpal phalanges (MCP). 

Left proximal half of 5th metatarsal. 
There were many other small crushed unidentifiable 
bone fragments. 

46 (SW quadrant) 


Metatarsals: left 2nd distal and shaft, 

3rd distal and shaft, 

5th distal and shaft. 

1 partial left intermediate cuneiform tarsal. 

2 unidentifiable shaft fragments. 

52 (SW quadrant) 


1 large human frontal skull fragment including part of 

the left orbital sinus. 

1 other skull fragment. 

1 mid-shaft fragment. 

2 unidentifiable bone fragments. 
2 small pot fragments. 

66a (SE quadrant) 


1 human molar, very worn: to 45 years + level. 

Several small bone fragments. 

118 (SE quadrant) 


1 tibial mid-shaft fragment. 

1 fibula mid-shaft fragment. 

2 left zygomatic arch fragments. 
2 skull fragments. 

121 (central area) 


Skull: 1 partial fragment of right orbit. 

Right mandible fragment: 

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 

12 3 4 5 6 7 


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

X7 6 5\X2-+ 
or NP 

Loose unfitted teeth: Ml, M2 and 1st upper incisor 

Attrition is 35-45 years, no evident pathology. 
Post-cranial: 1 left proximal half of ulna. 
2 rib fragments. 

2 fragments of MCPs. 

1 mid-shaft femur fragment. 

1 left talus. 

1 partial 1st metatarsal (MT). 

1 shaft of an MT. 

722 (SE quadrant) 

1 right maxillary fragment including M2 and an 
empty M3 socket with evidence of an abscess. 
Attrition on M2 is in 45+ years region. 
1 right femoral head (no measurements or mor- 
phology possible). 

1 articular head type fragment - not identifiable. 
1 tibial shaft fragment including nutrient foramen. 
1 fibula shaft fragment. 
3 unidentifiable small bone fragments. 

123 (SE quadrant) 

1 human skull fragment. 

126 (central area) 

1 unidentifiable fragment. 

755 (central area) 

3 small tubular bone fragments. 

109 (above chalk) 

1 large femoral mid-shaft fragment and 2 smaller 

2 tibial fragments. 
1 fibula fragment. 

764 (central area) 


Most of right ulna. 


3 MCPs. 

1 tibial shaft fragment. 

1 fibula shaft fragment. 

Most of right femur. 

Left and right talii. 

1 MT. 

It is not possible to age this skeleton although it is 

obviously a young child of probably less than 10 

years. The bone is badly preserved and none of the 

areas of fusion are present. There is no evident 





28 (NW quadrant) 

Sex and age unknown. 
Weight: 1 Kg 225 gm. 

The body is well represented. Bone identified 
includes most of the skull (in small fragments), 
mid-shaft humerus, clavicle, ribs, femur, tibia and 
fibula. Bone appears mostly calcined with some blue- 
grey colouration and cross-hatched cracking. The 
cremation appears evenly pounded with no fragments 
exceeding a maximum length of 6 cm. No pathology 
or morphology is evident. 

124 {disturbed central area) 

Weight: < 5 gm. 

Unidentifiable fragments. Blue-grey in colour with 

curvilinear cracking. 

141a (no findspot given) 

Recorded as a single 'burnt 1 fragment. No obvious 

exposure to heat and the fragment is completely 


151 (NE quadrant) 

Weight: 20 gm. 

Only a few fragments present. Cannot be identified as 

human, although bones have been exposed to heat. 

157 (base of central disturbed area) 

Sex and age unknown. 
Weight: 20 gm. 

A few small calcined fragments of skull and uni- 
dentifiable fragments. The bone is blue-grey in part. 

171 (SW quadrant) 


Sex unknown, age 6-10 months. 

Weight: < 5 gm. 

Only a few fragments are present including three 

molar crowns suggesting an age of 6-10 months. 

Carbonised seeds and several twiglets are also present 

in matrix. Twiglets have been noted as present in 

other cremations in data sheet archives, but seeds or 

fruit heads have not been observed in the G12 group. 

173 (No. 1 urn east of barrow) 

Possible sub-adult. 

Age and Sex. unknown. 

Weight: 450 gm. 

Bone is gracile and possibly that of a sub-adult. 

Identifiable bone includes skull, tibia, ribs and half of 

a distal metacarpal phalanx. The bone interior sur- 
faces are blue-grey with a whole range of cracking 
patterns. The maximum length of fragments is 3 cm. 
There is no evidence of pathology or morphology. 

176 (No. la urn from east of barrow) 
Weight: 5 gm. 

Unidentifiable fragments. Blue-grey in colour. 

177 (No. lb urn from east of barrow) 
Weight: < 5 gm. 

Unidentifiable fragments. Blue-grey in colour. 

179 (No. 2 position in urnfield) 

Weight: < 5 gm. 

Unidentifiable fragments. Blue-grey and cross hatched. 

182 (No. 3 urn) 
Weight: 15 gm. 
Unidentifiable fragments. Blue-grey colour. 

185 (No. 4 position) 

One possible adult. 

Age and sex unknown. 

Weight: 700 gm. 

Identifiable bone includes small skull fragments, rib and 

one complete distal metacarpal phalanx. The fragments 

are consistendy small with a maximum length of 4 mm - 

suggesting that the matrix had been well pounded. Bone 

has a blue-grey colouration and a range of cracking 

patterns. No evident pathology or morphology. 

187 (No. 5 position) 
One adult 

Age and sex unknown. 
Weight: 575 gm. 

Upper part of this adult skeleton mostly represented 
in this cremation. Fragments of the cranium, maxilla 
and mandible, one vertebral spinous process, one 
partial proximal metacarpal phalange, ribs, ulna and 
fibula are present. Teeth include a third molar root 
and two single root teeth. The roots are closed 
suggesting an adult individual. The bone has under- 
gone curling deformation from heat exposure and has 
a light blue-grey colour on the interior surfaces, with a 
large cross-hatched cracking pattern. The maximum 
length of fragment is 2 cm, with some charcoal 
present in the cremation matrix. 

188 (natural ofSW quadrant) 
One possible adult 

Age and sex unknown. 
Weight: 150 gm. 


One possible adult with identifiable bone including 
skull and ulna. Interior surfaces have a blue-grey 
colour with small and large cross-hatching; and there 
is a maximum fragment length of 10 mm. No path- 
ology or morphology apparent. 

Woodford G13 

233a, b and c 

The inhumation is described as a primary inhumation 
from the central grave, which had undergone possible 
disturbance either from a previous excavation or 
robbing. This possibility may explain a perplexing 
anomaly which has emerged as a disparity between 
the adult appearance of the skeleton and a dentition of 
12-15 years. 

The skeleton was present in three separate boxes. 
Most of the post-cranial skeleton was present in two, 
with the skull in the third. The post-cranial skeleton 
itself is adult, in that all epiphyses are fused indi- 
cating growth had ceased. However, the skull con- 
tained in the third box had been lifted in a broken 
and dispersed condition along with its soil matrix. 
On excavation of this matrix much of the skull and 
dentition was recovered together with CI and C2. 
The rest of the cervical vertebrae were present with 
the post-cranial skeleton in the other boxes. How- 
ever, the basi-occipital/basi-sphenoid epiphysis has 
fused, indicating at least a young adult, since this 
fusion occurs at approximately 19 years. The sutures 
were open and, as mentioned, the dentition was 
unusual, having an age of 12-15 years; the roots are 
not closed nor are they near being closed. See den- 
tition below: 

+ 7-6-5-4 3 2 112 3 4 5 6 7-8- 

7 6 5 4(1)2 1 12 3 4 5 6 

It must be stressed that if this is indeed one skeleton, 
and not two, then delayed dentition of this type is 
extremely rare. It seems more probable that the 
process of disturbance and final excavation is the 
reason for this anomaly. 

Pathology is present in both the skull and post- 
cranial skeleton. A linear healed fracture is present on 
the occipital bone. The fracture extends proximally 
from the occipital protuberance to the lambdoidal 
suture, slightly right of lambda. The occipital pro- 
tuberance also has a slightly deformed appearance. 
The fracture may have been produced by a linear type 
of instrument, perhaps a sword - or perhaps a fall 
against a sharp edge. The fracture has the macrosco- 

pic appearance of having healed, with no new bone 
formation apparent. 

Sub-periosteal new bone is present on the distal 
lateral half of the left humerus. This new bone has 
suffered considerable post mortem abrasion and 
hence the macroscopic appearance is of little value, 
other than noting its presence. A stature measurement 
is not possible nor is there any morphology. 

It is considered therefore, that this inhumation 
represents either two individuals: one male adult and 
an adolescent between 12-15 years in age, both of 
which have pathologies; or that this is one inhumation 
which has suffered the noted pathologies with an 
unusually delayed dentition. 

236a and b 

This inhumation is described as an undisturbed 
crouched burial in the NE quadrant of the barrow. It 
is possibly an adult female. The skeleton is well 
represented though a stature estimate was not pos- 
sible. The overall condition of the skeleton is frag- 
mentary and poor, it having suffered considerable 
rootlet damage to surfaces. The dentition is repre- 
sented below: 


8 7 ISsXVS^iH \\\5 6 7 8 

8 7 ^XX3-2S. 

1 X \\X 6 -7-8- 

NPor V 

No ageing is possible, as only one Ml is present. 
There is also one abscess, and three teeth were lost 
ante mortem. No enamel hypoplasia is evident. Mor- 
phologically 'Aliens fossa' was noted on the left 
femur. No pathology other than the previously men- 
tioned dental abscess is evident. 

As mentioned in the Excavator's Report, one mis- 
cellaneous adult mandible is present with this inhu- 

Winterbourne Stoke G38 


59a (NE quadrant) 


Age and sex unknown. 

Weight: 20 gm. 

Identified bone includes skull fragments and one 

proximal metacarpal phalange. The bone is light 

blue-grey in colour, although most fragments are 

colourless, with curved cracking and a maximum 



fragment length of 4 mm. No morphology or path- 
ology is evident. 

66 (central cremation) 

Weight: 145 gm. 

Only very minute bone fragments present in what is 

almost entirely ash. No bone is identifiable. 

Winterbourne Stoke G39 


These cremations are briefly catalogued as they are 
recorded with find numbers; they are then considered 
in terms of minimum number of individuals as the 
accompanying notes say 'all the material from 68 (a, c, 
d and h), 69 (a and h), 121, 122 and 123 comes from 
one grave'. 


One adult 

Sex and age unknown. 
Weight: 1190 gm (total), 75 gm (bone). 
This cremation was excavated with a lot of soil (not 
ash) and so the 'real 1 weight is considered to be 75 gm. 
The upper trunk and skull are present. Identified 
bone includes several skull fragments; orbital frag- 
ment; ribs; cervical body and facet; five tooth roots 
(either incisor, canine or premolar); four distal halves 
of either inter or proximal metacarpal phalanges; one 
and a half distal metacarpal phalanges and one head of 
a metatarsal. The bone is light blue-grey in colour, 
with a whole range of cracking patterns present, and a 
maximum fragment length of 15 mm. 

68c, d and h 
One possible adolescent 
Sex: possibly male 

Weight: 670 gm (total): (c = 165, d = 135 and h = 
370 gm). 

Identified bone includes skull fragments from most 
parts of skull and right orbit: one right mastoid 
process; mandible fragments but no teeth; left and 
right tempro-mandibular joints (TMJ); ribs; cervical 
body; lumbar vertebrae small facets; right patella; 
radius (mid-shaft); first and third metacarpal frag- 
ments and ten metacarpal phalanges. The skeleton 
has a large mastoid process, but gracile bones with 
unfused sutures and therefore could possibly repre- 
sent an adolescent male. There is a wide range of 
cracking, the bone being blue-grey to dark blue-grey, 
with a maximum fragment length of 7 mm. The lower 
part of the cremation is not well represented. 


Sex unknown, age 4-5 months. 
Weight: 385 gm. 

Bone identified includes teeth: two crowns of per- 
manent first molars and one crown of deciduous 
canine; two humerus heads; ribs; clavicle; head and 
distal fragments of femur; left and right ischium; 
skull fragments; one left TMJ and a radius head. The 
canine crown gives an age of approximately 4-5 
months; the bone is unfused. A small wormian bone is 
noted on the occipital suture. Overall, this child's 
skeleton is well represented and light blue-grey in 
colour with a maximum fragment length of 6 mm. No 
pathology is apparent. 
[One adult cervical vertebra is present.] 



Sex and age unknown. 
Weight: 640 gm. 

Identified bone includes zygoma; gonial fragments; 
lateral aspect of calvicle; left and right distal condyles 
of humerus; head of radius; part of sciatic notch and 
pubis; distal condyles of femur and two metatarsal 
phalanges. This cremation is well represented and 
composes the matrix which surrounded 69a (the 
child). Fusion indicates that it is adult; the bone is 
black to light blue-grey in colour, with small curved 
transverse and small cross-hatched cracking. The 
maximum fragment length is 10 cm. No morphology 
or pathology is apparent. 


Age and sex unknown. 
Weight: 1160 gm. 

Identified bone includes several skull fragments; three 
articular heads: humerus and femoral; proximal frag- 
ment of femur; ribs; several vertebral body frag- 
ments; one distal metacarpal phalange; fibula 
fragments; a large fragment of talus; first metatarsal 
head and another metatarsal head. This skeleton is 
well represented but the weight exceeds the limit for 
one individual; it is therefore possible that more than 
one individual is present. Whole range of cracking is 
present; colour: blue-grey. The maximum fragment 
length is 10 cm. 

122 a, b and c 

Two possible adults (by weight). 

Age and sex unknown. 

Weight: 2255 gm (a = 1,000, b = 790 and c = 465 




Bone identified includes several large skull fragments 
from all parts of skull; right and left TMJ; cervical 
vertebral body; ribs; two articular head fragments of 
either femur or humerus; tibial shaft fragment; four 
metacarpal shafts and six phalanges: three distal and 
three heads. Teeth present are too damaged to age but 
include a total of possibly 9: 3 molars, 1 premolar, 3 
incisors and 2 unidentifiable roots. Although the 
weight exceeds the single individual, there is no 
duplication of bones in this matrix. The colour is light 
to dark blue-grey, with a whole range of cracking and 
a maximum length of 9 cm. 


Adult and neonate 
Age and sex unknown. 
Weight: 470 gm. 

Identified bone includes one neonate humerus; adult 
skull fragments; 1 TMJ; fragment of mandible with 1 
molar root; fragment of metacarpal; one distal meta- 
carpal phalanx; radius fragment and ribs. Adult bones 
are gracile in appearance. Mostly colourless, although 
some bones are darkly coloured with large cross- 
hatching and curved cracking. Only one neonate bone 
is present in the matrix. 

If the above cremations are considered in terms of 
the minimum number of individuals by identified 
bone present, then this set represents a total of 5 
individuals: 1 child (4-5 months), 1 neonate, 1 adoles- 
cent and 2 adults. If, however, the adult material is 
considered by weight, then a possible 4 adults are 
suggested. To further complicate matters, if the 
cremations are considered in the catalogue form, then 
a total of 8 individuals is possible: 1 neonate, 1 child, 
1 adolescent and 5 adults. 


1 MIN by identified 

1 neonate 

1 child (4-5 months) 

1 adolescent 

2 adults 

Individuals: 5 

2 By weight 4 adults 

(excluding 3 sub-adults) 3 sub-adults 

3 By catalogue 

5 adults 
3 sub-adults 

Individuals: 8 

G39 cremations continued 

30 (SW ditch) 

One fragment of unidentifiable bone. Blue-grey in 
colour with large cross-hatching. 

31 (turf mound) 

Unidentifiable long bone fragment. Longitudinal 
cracking and light blue-grey in colour. 

34a (SW ditch) 

Weight: 20 gm. 

One single-root permanent tooth, crown damaged. 

Large cross-hatched cracking with colour going from 

dark blue-grey to black. 

75 (turf mound) 

One unidentifiable bone fragment. 

92 (turf mound) 

One unidentifiable bone fragment. 

93 (centre of barrow) 

Age and sex unknown. 
Weight: 85 gm. 

Identified bone includes orbital ridge (right); frag- 
ment of nasion; metacarpal fragment; lumbar body 
fragment; lunate; metatarsal fragment; teeth: 1 
second upper incisor and 1 premolar. Colour of bone 
is generally dark blue-grey (with one brown tooth), 
and surface bears cross-hatched to longitudinal split- 
ting. The maximum fragment length is 5 mm. 

Winterbourne Stoke G50 


319 (west ditch) 

Not cremated bone. Adult skull fragments only, 
including fragments from frontal, parietal, occipital 
and basion, left and right. Upper right orbit intact. 
Three loose teeth: upper right Ml, M2 and canine - 
no attrition evident. The condition of bone is very 
poor with no morphology or pathology evident. This 
skeleton is considered adult. 


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Exploratory Excavations of Roman Buildings at Cherhill 

and Manningford Bruce 


The Roman Research Trust has recently undertaken excavations at two Roman sites in the county. Cherhill Manor 
and Church have long been thought to overlie a major Roman building, the remains of a mosaic pavement featuring a 
hunting dog first being found in 1913. This is now seen as a product of Durnovarian mosaicists expanding their 
operations northwards around the middle of the fourth century A.D. 

The site at Manningford Bruce, probably a courtyard villa, is a new discovery and has produced evidence for an 
elegant mosaic pavement whose design originated in central Italy and spread throughout most of the Roman empire by 
the fourth century. Both sites have early mediaeval churches founded close to the Roman structures, a relationship that 
merits further research. 


Over the past two decades there has been a growing 
interest in the foundation of church buildings on or 
within the vestiges of Roman villas, of which there are 
an increasing number of examples. The study gained 
momentum in France in the late 1960s with the aerial 
survey work of Agache (1972) and was taken up again 
by Percival (1976, 183-199) in his work on Roman 
villas and by the Rodwells at Rivenhall (1985). Salway 
(1981, 731) has suggested that many early churches on 
the continent developed from Roman shrines or mau- 
solea of prominent Christian families. This rela- 
tionship still needs to be explored more deeply, with 
an examination of early mediaeval society and the 
development of the village system with the church as 
the focus of a rural community. This is beyond the 
scope of the present paper; however, it was in order to 
obtain further information for this study, as well as 
for the dating and distribution of Romano-British 
mosaics, that the two exploratory excavations were 
mounted between July 1984 and March 1987. 

Cherhill (ST 0385 7031) 


The site lies on a knoll of soliflucted chalk drift 
overlying the Upper Greensand and adjacent to a 
prolific spring line which has cut a deep ravine to the 
north of the site. Two miles to the south ran the 
Roman road from Cunetw (Mildenhall) to Verlucw 
(Sandy Lane). 

In July 1984 the narrow grass verge to the west of St 
James's Church (Figure 1), known to contain the 
remains of a Roman mosaic, was made available for 

excavation to the writers by the new owner of Cherhill 
Manor, Mrs Trudy Oatley, in advance of possible 
landscaping in front of her home. The following 
October, again ahead of a replanting programme, 
further trenching was permitted by Mrs Oatley in her 
front garden in order to identify further remains of 
the Roman building located during the summer. 

The greater part of the grass verge was opened to 
identify the alignment and dimensions of any structu- 
ral remains and to obtain datable material. Unfor- 
tunately this small piece of land had been badly 
disturbed on several occasions and no dating evidence 
was recovered. However, some structural details of 
the Roman building were revealed which permitted a 
conjectural outline of the mosaic-floored chamber to 
be drawn (Figure 2). A respond on the east side, close 
to the northeast corner of the Hunting Dog panel, is 
inferred from the truncation of the border tesserae, 
suggesting that the chamber was divided at this point 
by a wide archway. This unheated double chamber 
with a NW-SE axis had a smaller ante-chamber to the 
south possibly a former corridor. The foundation for a 
respond on the east side indicated another wide 
archway linking this ante-chamber to the main area; 
thus the entire suite should be regarded as tri-partite. 
The ante-chamber itself once had a fine mosaic pave- 
ment of which only tesserae impressions survived in 
the mortar bedding. Although no trace of a hypocaust 
was found for this chamber many stray fragments of 
box flue tiles were recovered indicating that such a 
feature had existed elsewhere in the building. 

In the present garden area robber trenches were 
identified along the alignment of the north wall of the 
mosaic room, indicating that the room had probably 
been terraced above the natural slope of the hill. No 


f///J early phase 
HB late phase 

E excavations 
M mosaic 

15 metres 


Figure 1. Cherhill: plan of mosaic chamber and its location 

structural remains were located west of this area, 
suggesting that the mosaic room was the end chamber 
of a building lying beneath the south corner of the 
church and mostly under the churchyard. Tesserae 
have also been found in the churchyard area (informa- 
tion from Mr Grubb, gravedigger). 


The mosaic chamber formed part of a secondary 
rebuilding, the rubble foundations of which consisted 
of dolomitic limestone, which outcrops to the west of 
Chippenham. Earlier foundations, on a similar align- 
ment, of Cornbrash limestone blocks were revealed 
below the mosaic and to the south, passing beneath 
the present house (Figure 1). The building appears to 
have been roofed in Pennant sandstone. 


The few fragments of painted wall plaster recovered 
were insufficient to give an overall impression of the 
scheme of decoration. These, however, included red, 
yellow and mauve stripes on a white ground and some 
imitation marble stipple. Some fragments of coarser 
plaster might represent external rendering. 

The few sherds of Romano-British pottery recov- 
ered were unfortunately in unstratified contexts, 
mostly from disturbed upper levels and from robber 
trenches, probably of late mediaeval date. The pottery 
consists of basic domestic wares of the second to 
fourth centuries, common on sites in North Wiltshire. 
Mediaeval and post-mediaeval material was found 
throughout the shallow overburden and in the robber 
trench backfill. 


Further finds of tesserae have been made about 70 m 
east of the old tithe barn (now demolished) and 
pottery and a Roman coin have been recorded to the 
rear of Bell Farm buildings (Blackford 1941, 31). 
These discoveries imply further extensions to the 
complex lying on a S-E axis, an orientation commonly 
preferred for British and Gallic villas. 

The Cherhill Mosaic 

The pavement first came to light in 1913 when the 
Hunting Dog panel was discovered to the west of St 
James's Church, under the flagged pathway leading 
from the churchyard into the grounds of Cherhill 
Manor (Figure 1). This panel was briefly re-exposed 
in 1938 and in 1939 an area of geometric decoration 
was discovered to the south of it. These immediately 
pre-war discoveries were instigated by the then owner 
of the Manor, Mr J.H. Blackford, and published in 
his book of the Manor and village (Blackford 1941, 
30-31, 33, plan p. 32, and plans facing pp. 32 and 33). 
The Hunting Dog panel was re-exposed at least once 
more: in 1980 for display during the village fete. 

In 1983 the Manor was sold by Mr D. Blackford to 
Mrs Oatley who in 1984 invited the writers to re- 
excavate and record the mosaic and to attempt to 
establish its architectural context. These limited 
investigations were carried out in June 1984 when all 
the previously known areas of mosaic were re-exposed 
and further areas of the mosaic were discovered. All 
the surviving areas of tessellation were cleaned and 
photographed by the Trust and then drawn in situ by 
Mr David Neal whose finished painting is reproduced 
here (as part of Figure 2). Conservation staff from the 
Wiltshire Library and Museum Service prepared the 
Hunting Dog panel (Figure 3) for lifting and it was 
removed in one piece on 28 June 1984. After conser- 
vation and rebacking with Araldite epoxy resin, ver- 
miculite and aluminium mesh, the panel was 
generously donated by Mrs Oatley to Devizes 
Museum where it is now permanently displayed. The 
remainder of the mosaic was reburied in situ. An 
interim study of the mosaic has recently been 
published (Johnson 1985). 


It is estimated that no more than 6 per cent of the 
mosaic survived in 1984. Much must have been 
destroyed in mediaeval times when the Manor or its 
antecedents were constructed and also, more regret- 
tably, in recent times when the Manor forecourt was 
resurfaced. The northeast corner of the Hunting Dog 
panel had also been destroyed by a later (Roman?) 


hearth. Towards the north end a modern drain run- 
ning NW-SE had caused a zone of destruction. The 
mosaic was found at a depth of about 0.3 m. 

The threshold of 'giant guilloche', discussed below, 
had exceptionally large tesserae with sides of 2.8-3.8 
cm and a depth of 1.7-2.5 cm. All other tesserae used 
in the mosaic were well-cut and ranged in width from 
11-19 sq mm and were 8-13 mm deep. There were 
five colours: 

cream/white Upper Chalk 

ochre brown possibly sandstone 

light grey/blue Lias limestone 

orange/red terracotta brick and tile 

purple Pennant Sandstone 

The tesserae were set in a hard white lime mortar 
with a grouting of fine whitish mortar with an occa- 
sionally pinkish hue. Large areas of tessellation, 
particularly towards the north end, were coated with a 
thick calcareous scale. 

The interior (NW-SE) dimensions of the tri-partite 
chamber, and hence the mosaic, were clearly indi- 
cated by the surviving foundations and robbing tren- 
ches. Total destruction of the east side, however, had 
obscured the chamber's NE-SW dimensions. These 
have been estimated by assuming a minimum width 
for the Hunting Dog panel of 2.43 m, to allow for a 
second animal being chased. Thus the largest cham- 
ber would have been 5 m in depth with a width of up 
to 6.9 m, and the middle chamber would have been 
3.25 m deep with a width of up to 4.2 m. The 
ante-chamber was 2 m deep and up to 4.2 m wide. 
The threshold between the ante-chamber and the 
middle chamber was paved with a coarse mosaic panel 
of 'giant guilloche' pattern, now almost destroyed but 
constructed of very large tesserae of purple sandstone 
and orange terracotta. Any other materials used must 
have been softer as they have totally perished. It was 
curious that elsewhere on the mosaic, i.e. on panel 2, 
bands of purple sandstone had survived whereas 
neighbouring bands of chalk had eroded. 

Similarly, the following description of the mosaic 
assumes the restoration (Figure 2) of the chambers 
and mosaic panels to be correct. The main area of 
mosaic consisted of a suite of five contiguous rect- 
angular panels, six if we include the guilloche thresh- 
old. We have seen how the mosaic of the ante- 
chamber, panel 1, had totally perished. The middle 
chamber comprised two panels of similar dimensions, 
2 and 3. Panel 2 was almost entirely destroyed but 
apparently had consisted of a rectangular frame of 
simple guilloche enclosing an all-over pattern of 
maeander(}). Panel 3 featured the hunting dog, 



5 metres 

Figure 2. Cherhill: reconstruction of mosaic panels, over painting of surviving areas of mosaic reproduced by permission oi 

David S. Neal 



Figure 3. Cherhill: Hunting Dog panel in situ, 1984. 1 m scale 

described below. Both panels were linked by simple 
guilloche and were flanked up to the responds by 
eight alternating bands of chalk and purple sandstone. 
The largest chamber, to the north, also comprised 
two panels of similar dimensions, 4 and 5, but rather 
larger than those of the middle chamber. Panel 4 
hardly survived at all save for its east border, which 
seems to have contained part of a strip of simple 
guilloche, of lower quality and of a different colour 
scheme to guilloche elsewhere on this mosaic. This 
strip of guilloche, if indeed it was such a thing, may 
have been repeated on the opposite (west) side. Part of 
a linear strip of swastika maeander also survived and 
may have bordered the panel along both of its long 
sides. The northernmost Panel, 5, was slightly better 
preserved and, as in Panel 2, contained an overall 
maeander pattern, but here with what appears to be 
part of a pelta in red terracotta, outlined in grey-blue. 
This might have been part of a strip of opposed peltae 

running parallel to the maeander. Both panels of the 
larger room were framed by simple guilloche and 
bordered by bands of chalk, purple sandstone, chalk, 
terracotta, chalk and purple sandstone, respectively. 
Panel 3, part of the middle chamber, featuring the 
hunting dog (Figure 3) is of considerable iconographi- 
cal and historical significance. A partial recon- 
struction (Figure 4) has been made by Luigi 
Thompson, based on comparisons cited below. The 
remains of this athletic-looking hound are finely 
drawn and, despite the head and most of the forelegs 
being missing, the animal strongly evokes the energy 
of the chase. The tesserae are grey/blue, orange, brown 
and white. The upper part of the right foreleg is well 
muscled and the rear feet have long claws. This large 
animal, originally over 1 m in length, is bounding past 
a leafy tree in pursuit of its quarry, which almost 
certainly would have been a stag, hind or hare. The 
panel is framed by a band of grey/blue and a band of 



50 cm 

Figure 4. Cherhill: reconstruction of Hunting Dog panel 

white, then a border of superposed 'hollow' triangles 
in grey, orange and white, running anti-clockwise, 
and finally by a border of simple guilloche in grey/ 
blue, orange, brown and white. 


The Cherhill mosaic is clearly to be associated with 
the Durnovarian 'School' (officina) of mosaicists, pos- 
tulated by Smith as being based at Durnovana (Dor- 
chester, Dorset) during the fourth century (1969, 
112-13, 116). Such an overall scheme of contiguous, 
rectangular panels of decoration is very similar to that 
of a geometric mosaic from Olga Road, Dorchester, 
attributed by Smith to a late 'Durno-Corinian' phase 
of the Durnovarian 'School' (1984, 372, Fig. 12). A 
similar use of multiple panels is known on the Dur- 
novarian mosaic at Withington villa, Gloucestershire. 
Here Smith has demonstrated that additions were 
made to the Orpheus mosaic produced by mosaicists 
based in Corinium (Cirencester) in the early fourth 
century when the unheated chamber was extended, 
possibly around, or after, the middle of the fourth 
century (1965, 105, 107-112, Fig. II). A series of 
marine and hunting panels of obvious Durnovarian 
origin was laid down next to the Orpheus scheme, its 
north border being removed for the purpose. Black 
(1986, 155-6) has examined the iconography of the 
mosaic work in some detail. 

More significantly, the hunting dog is very closely 
paralleled on three other mosaics, all of Durnovarian 
manufacture, at Hinton St Mary (Smith 1965, 

99-105, Fig. 5) and Frampton (Lysons 1813, PI. IV) 
in Dorset, and at East Coker (Smith 1969, 91, 123, 
Fig. 3.3) in Somerset. The Hinton mosaic is perhaps 
the most significant, featuring the earliest known 
representation of Christ on any mosaic, though 
combined with pagan figurative elements. 

The Frampton mosaics, all now lost, had figured 
scenes depicting Neptune, Dionysus and various 
mythological themes and would appear to be entirely 
pagan were it not for the occurrence of a Christian 
monogram on the chord of the apse attached to the 
largest chamber (mosaic B). The East Coker pave- 
ment, also now lost, is recorded as having as its 
central motif a circular panel with a figured scene, 
interpreted by Smith (1969, 91-2) as the birth of 
Dionysus, bordered by a concentric zone of hounds 
chasing stags amongst leafy trees. The scene has more 
recently been re-interpreted as the rescue of Ariadne 
by Bacchus (Stupperich 1980, 291-2). Whichever 
identification is to be preferred the Dionysiac char- 
acter remains undisputed. 

The style of the tree on the Cherhill panel, with its 
base shown as a marked ellipse, is very similar to trees 
depicted on the Hinton St Mary and Frampton 
mosaics where they occur as a backdrop to the 
running hounds, as well as in panels by themselves at 
Hinton. They also occur at Withington in the Dur- 
novarian marine panel where Black (1986, 156) views 
them as symbolising 'the external renewal of life', 
though in an absolutely pagan context. In all these 
examples the branches bear distinctive lanceolate 
leaves and grow from the entire length of the trunk, 
including the base. Unlike the Hinton leaves, those at 
Cherhill have tri-partite colouration, in red, brown 
and white. The leaves at Frampton (mosaic A) have 
greater similarity to those at Cherhill, however, 
having bi-partite colouration. The superposed hollow 
triangles bordering the dog panel are paralleled 
exactly at Withington where they border the marine 
panel. Indeed, the conjectured strip of opposed peltae 
has an exact parallel in the terminal panel at With- 
ington and is less closely paralleled at Frampton and 
Hinton. The giant guilloche however appears to be 
unique in Britain and its coarseness might confirm a 
late date for the mosaic as a whole. 

Another Durnovarian feature is stylized muscu- 
lature, used on the surviving upper foreleg of the 
Cherhill dog and almost exactly reproduced on the 
animals (and human figures) at Frampton and 
Hinton. In short, the occurrence of athletic hounds 
chasing quarry in a landscape of leafy 'Durnovarian 
trees' at all four sites has already prompted Smith to 
suggest that the Cherhill mosaic was produced by the 



same mosaicists (1969, 112-13, 116; Johnson 1985). 
The Cherhill dog is coloured and modelled much less 
expertly than are the animals at Hinton and Frampton 
however, and lacks their well-defined ribs. The Cher- 
hill dog therefore may perhaps be seen as a slightly 
less accomplished (and later?) piece of work. 

Toynbee suggested that such scenes are Christian 
allegories (1964, 14), representing the teeming life of 
Paradise, although Eriksen, by contrast, sees them as 
showing the pains of the Christian's life (1980, 43-8). 
Black (1986, 148) sees the deer 'as the followers of Christ, 
and the hounds as the dangers or perhaps the sins which 
lie in wait for them and pursue them through life'. 
However, Henig (1986, 163) does not think that the 
Frampton mosaics are Christian and suggests that even at 
Hinton St Mary the 'tree of life' and hounds chasing deer 
in themselves are neutral and orthodox motifs. Huskin- 
son (1974, 77) also plays down the significance of the 
Chi-Rho at Frampton, suggesting it was merely the 
patron hedging his bets for divine protection. Similarly, 
Brandenburg (1969, 78) suggests that such Christian 
symbols, like those of pagan mystery cults, might have 
been used merely as 'tokens of good fortune with 
prophylactic value'. It is thus doubly unfortunate that no 
further areas of figured work survived at Cherhill to help 
resolve this debate. 


No absolute archaeological dating evidence was recov- 
ered from below the Cherhill mosaic after it was 
lifted, although the earlier wall foundation sealed 
below the pavement (Figure 1) indicates that the 
mosaic belongs to a later phase of the building. It 
would seem that the only dating possible is that based 
on stylistic criteria. Reece (1980) has tentatively sug- 
gested a date for the Hinton St Mary mosaic of A.D. 
335-355, based on the hairstyle of Christ. The only 
firm external dating evidence for an undisputed Dur- 
novarian mosaic is that for an inferior (and possibly 
later?) mosaic from Dewlish villa in Dorset dated to 
A.D. 353-356 (Putnam and Rainey 1975). The Vir- 
gilian mosaic from Low Ham villa, Somerset, dated 
from A.D. 330-350 has been attributed by Smith to 
the Durnovarian officina (1984, 370) although more 
recently this has been linked with the Lindims officina 
(Johnson 1987, 47). Regardless of the attribution of 
the Low Ham mosaic, the floruit of the Durnovarian 
officina appears to have been from the second to third 
quarters of the fourth century, with its finest work 
being done earlier rather than later. 

It would appear that Durnovarian mosaicists, 
having already produced, inter alia, the highly 
distinctive mosaics at Hinton, Frampton and East 

Coker during the second quarter of the fourth 
century, began to move northwards during the third 
quarter in search of fresh commissions in an ever 
dwindling market. At Littlecote, Wiltshire, the 
Orpheus mosaic of the private temenos (Walters 1984), 
firmly dated to around A.D. 360, has echoes of both 
the Corinian and Durnovarian repertories in its design 
and decoration, prompting Smith to speculate that 
this, like the Dorchester, Olga Road mosaic, was a 
product of a late 'Durno-Corinian' phase of the 
Durnovarian officina (Smith in Walters and Phillips 
1981, 12). For an elaboration of this phase see Smith 
1984, 370-72. It is not easy to separate this hybrid 
phase from the late northern expansion of the main- 
stream Durnovarian officina; indeed the two develop- 
ments may have been contemporary. 

The Cherhill mosaic therefore is a convincing and 
invaluable addition to the evidence for this late 
northern expansion of Durnovarian mosaicists. The 
architectural contexts of the three key mosaics also 
appear to have something in common as the mosaics 
at Hinton and Frampton (mosaic B) were in decorated 
double unheated chambers in rural locations (see also 
Black 1986, 149). Hinton is possibly a villa although 
the complex at Frampton is much more problematic 
(Lysons 1813, 1. II and Painter 1967, 15-31). Whereas 
Salway maintains the latter to be a villa (1981, 342) 
Farrar (1956, 83) and Walters (1982, 15) have 
remarked on the unsuitability of the site for residen- 
tial use. This extraordinary complex, sited in a water 
meadow, consists of a curious L-shaped platform 
hugged by buildings containing nothing but elaborate 
mosaics. Furthermore local tradition refers to the site 
as the 'Nunnery Meadow'. Thomas (1981, 183) con- 
siders Frampton to be an 'estate church' as does Black 
(1986, 150) but Lysons may have been correct in the 
first instance when he interpreted the complex as a 
pagan temple (1813, 1,5.); the interpretation is still 
open, however. Cherhill also has an unheated double 
room which is paved with an elaborate Durnovarian 
mosaic and it is not yet certain whether this building 
formed part of a conventional villa. Webster (1983) 
has raised doubts over a number of 'villas' in the 
South and South West, questioning their function. 

Salway (1981, 725) suggests that as Christian motifs 
were used on the mosaics of the reception rooms in 
fine 'villas' such as Frampton and Hinton, and there 
was such a large Christian cemetery just outside 
Durnovaria, Christian communities may have existed 
at this time in pockets, especially in Dorset. However, 
the question of whether the Cherhill mosaic, and thus 
the site, has either a Christian or pagan character 
cannot be answered on the available evidence. 



Manningford Bruce (ST 141581) 

This site overlies the chalk alluvium of the Pewsey 
Vale, almost 2 miles southwest of the town of Pewsey 
and 700 m east of a tributary of the River Avon as it 
flows to the north of the village of Manningford 

Storm damage in June 1985 caused the collapse of a 
section of the dividing wall between the garden of the 
Old Rectory (Manningford Bruce House) and the 
northeast extension to the graveyard of St Peter's 
Church (Figure 5). The Churchwarden and owner of 
the house and garden, Major Robert Ferguson, con- 
tracted local builders to rebuild the wall and re- 
buttress it where necessary. Whilst digging the found- 
ation for a buttress along the east side of the wall a 
small area of mosaic pavement was exposed. The 
writers were notified and suggested that the trench be 
extended in order to locate a stone foundation of the 
original Roman structure onto which the new buttress 
was bedded, avoiding damage to the mosaic. Permis- 
sion was granted by the Church authorities to examine 
the narrow strip of land between the wall and the first 
line of graves. The investigation was planned also to 
facilitate the positioning of future burials and to avoid 
unnecessary damage to the Roman remains. 

This trench (No. I) revealed a badly damaged 
corner of an elaborate geometric mosaic in an 
unheated room, with a wall foundation of chalk 
rubble 75 cm in width (Figure 6). The mosaic was 
cleaned, gridded and recorded by overlapping vertical 
photographs, taken by Luigi Thompson and used by 
him to produce the scale painting reproduced in 
Figure 7. The broken edges and lacunae were conso- 
lidated with remix plasticene and the pavement and 
foundations were covered over with sand and roofing 
slates and reburied. 

When Trench II was cut on the other side of the 
wall, in the garden of the Old Rectory, during 
October and November 1985, more of the mosaic was 
discovered, together with a continuation of the wall 
foundation seen in Trench I. This foundation, as in 
Trench I, was made of chalk rubble, but here faced on 
the outside with small sandstone blocks, indicating 
that at this point it was an outside wall (see Figure 5). 

Finally, Trench III, cut in the graveyard in March 
1987, located all the other surviving areas of this 
mosaic. A broad ditch of early post-mediaeval date 
had completely cut away the rear of the main Roman 
structure on its north side and a single alignment of 
graves had also penetrated the building east of the 
mosaic room. A plain tessellated pavement was 
located southeast of the mosaic and appears to have 

been the floor of a forward corridor. There was 
virtually no Roman debris overlying the mosaic which 
was buried by a deposit of gritty, alluvial soil contain- 
ing post-mediaeval detritus. The poor condition of the 
mosaic suggests that it had been exposed to frosts, 
implying that it had been uncovered previously, 
though not recorded. 

During March 1987 an examination was made of 
Major Ferguson's field immediately to the northeast 
of the graveyard extension. Trenches were cut across 
the suspected alignment of the main Roman wing to 
ascertain its length (Figure 5). Footings for the front 
porticus were located in the central and eastern tren- 
ches, indicating a building at least 50 m in length, 
with a possible winged extension, or a second 
building, at a right angle to it along the east side of the 
field. This incorporated a tile-lined outlet for a drain 
which, with fragments of water-proof plaster, sug- 
gested the remains of a nearby bath-suite. 

In October 1985 exploration took place underneath 
the central flower beds of the Old Rectory garden. 
Two test holes located collapsed building debris, 
including chalk blocks, mortar, wall plaster and tile 
fragments, suggesting a probable west wing of a 
courtyard villa complex. The Roman pottery recov- 
ered came from the upper levels of overburden and 
the collapsed building debris and consisted mostly of 
third to fourth century sherds, including black 
burnished bowls and some Oxford wares. 

The tenth century Church of St. Peter lies only 20 
m from the suggested west wing of the villa. The 
fields west of the church, belonging to Manningford 
Bruce Manor, show surface features suggesting a 
deserted mediaeval village. The soils and disturbed 
features above and within the Roman foundations 
contained quantities of mediaeval sherds, indicating 
an occupation on, or close to, the Roman site during 
the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. 

The Manningford Bruce Mosaic 

The initial test hole of June 1985 was eventually 
expanded to become Trench I, the pavement lying 1 
m below the ground level of the churchyard extension 
(Figure 6). Some neatly defined damage had been 
caused to the mosaic in the 1950s by a number of 
graves very close by, but most of the damage must 
have been caused by the construction of the garden 
wall in the late eighteenth century. Its foundation 
trench had sliced very neatly through the mosaic and 
its bedding of pink opus sigmnum. However, it is 
suspected that exposure to frosts in the eighteenth or 
early nineteenth century had caused most of the 






Figure 6. Manningford Bruce: Trench I with mosaic 
(1985), facing NW; 2 m scale 

observed destruction of the tessellated surface, leav- 
ing much of the opus signmum bedding exposed. The 
surface of this bedding clearly showed a linear butting 
mark where a length of guilloche would have been 
continued, evidently the result of the laying of part of 
the design by the Roman mosaicist after and against 
an area already set. This could be interpreted either as 
evidence for the laying of prefabricated panels of 
mosaic or, alternatively, as a 'day joint', indicating the 
positioning of a fresh band of mosaic laid by the 
'direct method', next to the previous day's work (see 
Johnston 1984, 528). 

Trench II, cut in October to November 1985 on the 
opposite side of the wall in the garden of the Old 
Rectory, encountered the mosaic at the slightly 
greater depth of 1.3 m. An even smaller percentage of 
mosaic survived, much having been destroyed when a 
summer house was constructed in the north corner of 
the garden in the nineteenth century. In March 1987 
Trench III revealed more of the mosaic at a depth of 
only 50-70 cm as the ground level was much lower in 
this part of the graveyard. 

The tesserae were well cut, ranging in width from 
9-14 mm with an average depth of 10 mm. The chalk 
tesserae tended to be slightly larger. The following 
materials and colours were used: 


cream/white Upper Chalk 

grey/blue Lias limestone 

purple Pennant Sandstone 

pale brown fine sandstone 

olive green fine sandstone 

orange/red terracotta brick and tile 

The border tesserae of terracotta averaged 2.0-2.6 
cm in width and 1.7-2.4 cm in depth. The tesserae of 
the main design were set in a white lime mortar and 
grouted with a fine pink mortar with brick and tile 


Despite total robbing of the northeast wall it was 
possible roughly to estimate the size of the room from 
other surviving foundations and robbing trenches. 
Moreover, although so little of the mosaic survived, it 
was possible to reconstruct the design on paper, 
which served to refine this estimation (Figure 7). The 
room was originally 6.15 m by 6.94 m and the overall 
size of the mosaic, excluding the outer border, would 
have been 5.52 m by 6.51 m. 

The main part of this elaborate design, as recon- 
structed, has a square format, 5.34 m by 5.52 m, and 
is virtually unique amongst Romano-British mosaics, 
although certain of its elements and a possibly related 
design occur elsewhere in the province. The design 
appears to have been an outlined, grid-produced 
scheme of four sets of four recumbent ellipses, sepa- 
rated by four adjacent cushions and forming irregular 
concave octagons. The spaces between the ellipses 
along each side form two bell-shapes. The design is 
made from curvilinear lengths of simple guilloche in 
six colours, each of its two strands maintaining its 
own colour scheme throughout. This is framed by a 
square of simple guilloche, enclosed by bands of 
white, grey/blue and white. This in turn is bordered 
by three-strand guilloche, also in six colours, one 
strand being of brown, green and white, edged in 
grey/blue, the other two strands in red, brown and 
white, edged in grey/blue. This scheme of colouration 
is not consistent, however, as each strand alternates 
its colour pattern after every two bends. The space 
left in the middle is a slightly larger, irregular 
concave-sided octagon. The reconstruction indicates 
that the cushions would probably have been similar in 
shape and size except for the two along the NE-SW 
midline which are shorter and have slightly thickened 
lobes along that axis. 

This principal scheme is flanked along most of its 
northeast side by a panel of maeander of spaced double 
returned swastikas, in purple on white, with a guill- 



r mJ/KL Ml 



3 metres 

Figure 7. Manningford Bruce: reconstruction of the mosaic 


oche mat or knot alternating in each space. The one 
surviving knot has two pointed lobes and is con- 
structed against a white ground. At the south end of 
the room this panel of maeander would have been 
repeated in order to adapt the square design to the 
rectangular format of the room. 

The destruction of so much of the mosaic causes the 
filling motifs to remain largely conjectural but the 
ellipse of the northeast corner did remain substan- 
tially intact and contained part of an elegant cantharus. 
The partially surviving ellipse of the southwest side 
contained a dark triangular shape, possibly the foot of 
another cantharus. The bell-shape near the northeast 
corner contained the remains of a floral motif with a 
central, pointed lobe similar to the two projecting 
from the smallest guilloche mat. The only other partly 
surviving bell-shape, along the east side, had the 
remains of another floral or vegetal motif, although 
this was rather constricted in its bell as the mosaic 
design seems to have been distorted at this point, 
possibly by later subsidence. 

The whole design was bordered by coarse red 
tessellation and the quarter-round filet of plaster, 
painted red, survived intact in parts, particularly in 
Trench I. This would have been the finishing touch to 
the interior decoration of the chamber and indicates 
that, as was usual, first the mosaic had been laid, then 
the walls plastered and painted and finally the junc- 
tion sealed with a filet of plaster. 


Although this graceful design based on ellipses is 
without a direct parallel in Roman Britain some of its 
elements occur elsewhere and merit comment. The 
cushion shapes are particularly striking and immedi- 
ately recall those on a late third to fourth century 
mosaic from Brislington villa, Avon where four, 
spaced cushions in simple guilloche are placed around 
a central square containing a cantharus (Barker 1900, 
Pis. V and VI; Branigan 1972, 78-85). A single, large 
cushion also occurs on the Bellerophon mosaic at 
Lulhngstone, Kent, dated between AD 330-360 
(Meates 1979, 75-83, PI. facing p. 78, PI. XVIa). 
There it is the main design feature, flanked by four 
circular roundels, basically the same scheme as is 
repeated in all-over form at Manningford. The irregu- 
lar concave octagons formed between sets of ellipses 
recall similar shapes on the mosaic from King's 
Weston villa, Avon, only a few miles from Brislington 
and also dated to after AD 270 (Boon 1950, Pis. IVb, 
V and VI). 

Elliptical panels are rare in Britain but the Man- 

ningford ellipses are very similar to those placed in the 
corners of the sophisticated mosaic in room 26 at 
Bignor villa, Sussex, dated on style to c. AD 300 
(Johnson 1984, 410). 

It is, however, the imaginative use of curvilinear 
designs in guilloche that is of greatest significance. 
Swirling schemes of arcs and loops of simple guilloche 
in Britain are almost exclusive to the West Country, 
although occuring throughout the empire. The design 
of the mosaic of room K at Keynsham villa, in Avon 
(Bulleid and Home 1926, 121, Fig. 4), of three 
intersecting, concave-sided ovals, is very closely 
paralleled on a mosaic from Holcombe villa in Devon, 
dated to the second half of the fourth century (Pollard 
1974, 92-3, PI. XXVIII). Another example of this 
design is the mosaic found at Littleton villa, near 
Somerton, in 1827, a drawing of which is preserved in 
Somerset County Museum, Taunton. These schemes 
have a graceful, swirling effect, as does the remarka- 
ble mosaic discovered at 17 Lymington Road, Ilches- 
ter (Lindinis), Somerset, an even more ambitious 
example (Neal 1983). 

It is possible that a lost pavement from room F at 
West Dean villa, on the Wiltshire-Hampshire border, 
may have had a similar design to that at Manningford 
but with circular panels, as at Lulhngstone {Jnl. 
British Arch. Assoc. 1 (1846), 62). This villa is only 20 
miles south-southeast of Manningford and the illus- 
trated, undated fragments, found in 1845 (coloured 
drawings in Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum), 
have been used by Stephen Cosh for a suggested 
reconstruction of the design which has a cushion 
shape in simple guilloche, with flanking circular 
panels containing open fans (unpublished drawings in 
archive of ASPROM). This might have been used as 
an overall pattern as at Manningford but the filling 
motifs and borders at West Dean show no affinities 
with any of the mosaics mentioned. 

With the exceptions of the Lulhngstone and Bignor 
mosaics, which exhibit elements comparable to some 
used more extensively at Manningford, the closest 
British comparisons are with the above described 
mosaics from Avon, Somerset and Devon. The cur- 
vilinear schemes of three of them can be attributed to 
the Lindinis officina, operating during the first half of 
the fourth century (Johnson 1983). The design pro- 
posed for the West Dean mosaic is even more intri- 
guing when one considers the proximity of the site to 

The panels of maeander inset with guilloche mats 
are reminiscent of the 'interrupted maeander' often 
seen in Corinian mosaics and other unattributed 
mosaics from Cirencester {Connium). Possibly we 



should interpret this as influence from the Corinian 
officinae, both of which appear to have ceased opera- 
tions around the middle of the fourth century. More- 
over, echoes of this aspect of the Corinian repertory 
might be detected in other mosaics in Wiltshire and 
some in Hampshire. However, despite this apparent 
diffusion of design elements, the Manningford mosaic 
should not yet be attributed directly to a particular 
officina, although contact is more readily detected 
with Lindinis than with Conmum. It has been sug- 
gested (Johnson 1987, 37) that the Lindinian 
mosaicists produced work at ten sites, mostly in 
Somerset with one in Avon and one in Glou- 
cestershire, so it is perhaps not surprising that their 
influence can be detected in neighbouring Wiltshire. 

As a specific design, however, Manningford Bruce 
has its closest parallels outside Britain and many 
examples of this 'mosaique de coussins' and related 
designs occur in other provinces. According to Kiss 
(1973, 59-60) the basic scheme of recumbent ellipses, 
or sometimes circles, forming cushion shapes has its 
origin in north central Italy in the early second 
century AD (Enciclopedia Italiana dell'Arte Antica I, 
1958, Fig. 115), becoming more popular and more 
developed in the Antonine period (Blake 1936, PI. 
30.1). The scheme remained in use throughout the 
Severan period then was transmitted to Gaul and 
North Africa by the early third century (where there 
is a very similar design at El Djem (Alexander, Ben 
Abed et al. 1980, 98-101, PI. XXXIX)), and is best 
known, albeit in modified form, on the Bacchus 
mosaic from Trier (Parlasca 1959, 40-1, PI. 40). The 
design afterwards became very widely used and 
spread to Pannoma (Kiss 1973, 58-62, Pis. XIV, XV, 
XVI. I) by the early fourth century and finally to 

The closest overseas parallel for the Manningford 
design is, however, also the nearest geographically: a 
mosaic from the villa of Bazoches in Gallia Belgica 
(Stern 1979, No. 75, Pis. XXI, XXII). Here, 
although the dimensions were much smaller, the 
general scheme is exactly the same and is executed in 
simple guilloche, and with stylized floral motifs. This 
pavement has been dated archaeologically to the first 
half of the third century, thus it is broadly contem- 
porary with the Bacchus mosaic from Trier, then the 
capital of Gallia Belgica. Probable links between 
mosaics of that province and those of Roman Britain 
have already been commented upon (Johnson 1984, 
409-410). The mosaic craft of Gallia Belgica, brilliant 
throughout the first half of the third century, collap- 
sed in the latter half, shortly before a dramatic revival 
of mosaic working in Britain where the craft seems to 

have broken down from AD 220 - 270. It might be 
that Gallic mosaicists were at least partly responsible 
for the British mosaic revival, seen to its most 
astonishing effect in the late expansion and refurbish- 
ment of Romano-British villas, particularly in the 
West Country (Johnson 1987, 33-55). 

The Manningford mosaicist was evidently inspired 
by a newly imported curvilinear design, though he 
seems to have had some difficulty in executing it, as 
witnessed by the slight variation in the width of the 
terminals of the cushions. Nevertheless he produced a 
fine mosaic with commendable dexterity, incorporat- 
ing some elements from the provincial repertory, 
particularly from the South West. The date must at 
present depend upon stylistic evidence but one can 
with reasonable confidence ascribe the mosaic to the 
late third century or more probably to the first half of 
the fourth. 


The brief examination made of both sites may provide 
further evidence for the transition from villa to village 
with the church, as the focus for a rural community, 
replacing the earlier dominance of the Roman villa. In 
each case the church building is closely associated 
with a manor but according to Grinsell (cited in Hurst 
et al. 1987, 32), while most of the villas in Wiltshire 
became the foci of Domesday manors, less than a 
third of the known Domesday sites have Roman 
antecedents. Manningford Bruce Manor is mentioned 
in Domesday but Cherhill is not, although the latter 
may have then been part of the Royal Manor of Calne 
(Blackford 1941, 38). Hodges (in Hurst et al. 1987, 
32) stresses the apparent break in continuity between 
Roman and post-Roman occupation in the county as a 
whole but one should not yet preclude continuity at 
either of the sites under discussion. 

Cherhill might be seen as a satellite to the dense 
group of villas around Verlucio (Sandy Lane) which 
includes those at Studley, Bowood Park, Nuthills 
(Sandy Lane), the two extensive sites at Bromham 
(Mother Anthony's Well and West Park Field) and 
possibly another at Heddington. The newly 
discovered complex at Manningford provides an 
additional link in what might be a chain of sites along 
the valley of the Wiltshire Avon, starting with West 
Stowell (Stanchester) in the north followed by signifi- 
cant sites at Upavon, Rushall, Netheravon and poss- 
ibly, Amesbury. 

Although the Cherhill and Manningford mosaics 
were both extensively damaged, enough has survived 
to permit at least partial reconstructions of their 


remarkable designs, which in turn have enabled room 
sizes to be estimated. We have also gained further 
insight into the movement of mosaicists in Britain 
during the late Roman period and the spread of new 
designs or even artisans into the province from other 
parts of the empire. 

Acknowledgements We are very grateful to the following: 
Trudy Oatley for permission to excavate at Cherhill Manor 
and for her generous hospitality during our many visits; 
David Neal for permission to publish and elaborate on his 
painting of the Cherhill mosaic; Mike Corfield and the 
County Museum Service for lifting the Cherhill mosaic panel 
and for its excellent conservation and display; Robert and 
Eve Ferguson for permission to disrupt their lovely garden 
and for their hospitality and keen interest throughout; the 
Rector of Manningford and the Archdeacon of Salisbury for 
their kind permission to excavate in the Manningford 
churchyard; and our colleague Luigi Thompson for his 
painstaking reconstructions of the mosaic designs and for the 
plans of each site illustrated in this paper. We would also like 
to acknowledge the kind assistance of Martin Henig whose 
helpful suggestions have been incorporated in the text. 

Finally we must thank our regular volunteers who have 
worked with us at both sites: Richard Akehurst, John 
Clapton, Damian DeRosa, John Hamblin and Simon Pope. 

NOTE: copyright of this paper and accompanying illustra- 
tions (except for David Neal's painting in Figure 2) is 
retained by The Roman Research Trust. 


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Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 92-98. 

A Wall-painting at St Mary's Church, 
Lydiard Tregoze, Re-considered 


St Mary's Church at Lydiard Tregoze (otherwise Tregoz or Tregoose) has a wall-painting on the north side of the nave 
which portrays a castle or walled town. No satisfactory identification of it has so far been suggested, though some writers 
have thought it to be of St Christopher. It is now suggested that the wall-painting is more likely to represent the closed gate 
and the enclosed garden, both of which symbolise the Virgin Mary, to whom the church happens to be dedicated. 


The Church of St Mary at Lydiard Tregoze has been 
described as 'a Perpendicular building, having been 
re-built during that period, but there remain a few 
bits of material evidence of an older church.' 1 The 
Perpendicular period has been defined by the late Sir 
Nikolaus Pevsner as from 'c. 1335-50 to c. 1530'. 2 
The church is chiefly notable for its memorials to the 
St John (Bolingbroke) family, but also includes a 
number of medieval wall-paintings. After flourishing 
up to the Reformation, it was the usual fate of 
wall-paintings to be whitewashed over at that time 
and to remain concealed until re-discovered in the 
nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. 


The present paper will be devoted to the wall-painting 
(Figure 1) on the north of the nave, on the first full 
spandrel from the west. Along with the other wall- 
paintings in the church, it must have been uncovered 
in 1901, since, after their discovery, and a general 
restoration had taken place, the church was re-opened 
on 22 January 1902. 3 Two articles about the wall- 
paintings appeared in that year. One in the Journal of 
the British Archaeological Association described the 
painting with which this paper is concerned as repre- 
senting 'a castle or fortress, a tree or trees, and what 
is, conjecturally, a flag; also some human figures and 
flowers', and went on to suggest a dating of between 
1400 and 1430, adding that 'some authorities are, 
however, of opinion that some of [the wall-paintings] 
may even belong to the 13th century'. 4 The present 

writer does not think that the latter suggestion can 
apply to the painting at present under consideration. 
The other article which appeared in 1902 was in The 
Antiquary and it made the point that, instead of the 
usual whitewash, the wall-paintings had been covered 
with a 'yellow wash - reputed to date from Cromwell's 
time'; all it says about the painting in question is that 
'another [wall-painting] gives a very distinct outline of 
a Norman castle'. 5 

The fullest account of the wall-paintings as a whole 
is that of C.E. Ponting, who had restored them, 6 
which appeared in 1912. After complaining that the 
wall-painting in question had been much interfered 
with by a wall-tablet to Jane Hardyman, dated 1761, 
(as is, of course, still the case) he proceeds to a 
description of it which is worth quoting in full, 
though it has to be borne in mind that not all the 
details mentioned by him can still be made out: 

In the centre is a kind of temple with a central spire 
and two side turrets, flanked by trees; westward of 
this is the figure of what looks like a watchman or 
pilgrim with staff, and carrying a lantern, the upper 
part of the head is lost. On the right of the centre, 
and of the right tree is the keep of a castle or walled 
town; the main building has a turret at each angle 
and in one of these, as in one main wall, are loop 
openings in the form of a cross and with circular 
ends; in the other wall is a triple window, with 
semicircular arches with gable over, in the centre of 
which is a single-light window, flanked by two 
circular ones. The courtyard of the castle is sur- 
rounded by a wall, in which is a gateway having 

C.E. Ponting, 'Notes on the church of . . . Lydiard Tregoze', 

WAM 37 (1912), 417-454, at 436. 

N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire, 4. 

Harmondsworth, 1975, 617. 5. 

Anon., 'Antiquarian Intelligence - Re-opening of Lydiard 6. 

Tregoze Church', Jnl. Brit. Archaeol. Assn. 8 (n.s.) (1902), 

78-80, at 78. 

Ibid., 78, 79. 

Anon., 'Notes of the Month', The Antiquary, 38 (1902), 66. 

V.C.H. Wiltshire, Vol. 9, London, 1970, 88. 





semi-arch and gabled root flanked by turrets. There 
are other buildings inside the walls, the roofs are 
gabled and a spire occurs to the left of the castle, 
and one of the buildings has a triple-light window. 
Farther east is the chapel, a building with two 
single-light windows in its south wall and a cross on 
the east gable; it has another gabled roof on the 
north side of it and two lead-covered spires with 
ball terminals. The chapel appears to be partly 
outside the wall; there is a still further gabled 
building adjoining, entirely outside. A tree appears 
in the background between the two spires of the 
chapel. This subject has a border of red and black 
lines, extending to the apex of the arch on either 
side. 7 

It will be noted that none of these early reports 
attempts any identification of the scene described with 
any of the subjects usually depicted in medieval 

Of subsequent works on wall-paintings generally, 
J.C. Wall [1914] makes no reference to the painting, 
nor do any of Tristram's three volumes (1944—1955), 
though this is only to be expected, since they only 
cover the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. The 
unpublished Notebooks of his collaborator, Mrs M. 
Bardswell, do however include an entry for this 
church which, after referring to 'many fragments of 
15th cent. ptg. on the wall between the arches of the 
N. nave arcade' deals with the wall-painting in ques- 
tion by describing it as 'St. Christopher - a hermit, 
tree, and town being clearly distinguishable'. The 
present writer takes this to mean not that the saint was 
himself distinguishable, but that the other three 
elements could only mean to Mrs Bardswell that the 
painting in its original state must have been of this 
saint. Her notes conclude with a summary initialled 
by Tristram which begins with: 'At L.T. are two St. 
Xtophers . . . E.W.T. 1936'. 8 This reference to two 
paintings of the same saint is elucidated by the Little 
Guide mentioned in Mrs. Bardswell's Notebook, since 
the 1931 volume states that there was another painting 
of St Christopher in the south aisle. 9 Caiger-Smith 
(1963) merely says 'N. wall of nave: St. Christopher 
and the hermit ... All 15th-century work.' 10 Mee 

and Linnell (1965) make it quite clear that they are 
referring to the painting on the north wall of the nave 
which is the subject of this paper by specifying 'a 
fragment in which a small figure is carrying a lantern 
to light the way for Christopher across the stream'. 11 
The V.C.H. Wiltshire (1970) is content to deal with 
the whole of the wall-paintings by referring the reader 
to Ponting's article of 1912, quoted above, thereby 
confirming him as being still the leading authority on 
these paintings. 12 Pevsner and Cherry (1975) mention 
but one St Christopher painting, and say it is in the 
south aisle. 13 In an address to the Friends of Lydiard 
Tregoz at their Annual Meeting in 1974 (Reports, no. 
8, 1-8, at 6) Dr. E. Clive Rouse identified the 
wall-painting under discussion as 'possibly an unusual 
interpretation of St. Christopher'. The Guide at 
present (1987) available in the church is undated, but 
must be later than any of the publications already 
mentioned since it refers on its fly-leaf to the M4 
Motorway; it deals with the painting by saying: 'on 
the left-hand side of the nave [i.e. , the north side] . . . 
there is a St. Christopher; there is a figure holding a 
lantern, a central spire, three trees, and the roofs of 
the houses are very clear'. 14 

These identifications of the painting in question 
with St Christopher can be tested against two mono- 
graphs on wall-paintings in England of this saint, the 
first being that of Brindley (1924), which does not list 
a St Christopher at Lydiard Tregoze, 15 as is also the 
case in H.C. Whaite's book on wall-paintings of St 
Christopher (1929). 16 Brindley and Whaite have 
twenty-six and forty-three illustrations of wall- 
paintings of the saint, none of which has any resem- 
blance to the painting in question. 

The present writer adds to the foregoing descrip- 
tions the fact that the area below what has been called 
'the central spire' shows signs of having had its paint 
removed as if by blows from a chisel, perhaps in 
preparation for being 'keyed' to receive a wall- 
monument to go above the Hardyman memorial 
already mentioned, but which was either never erec- 
ted, or was later removed. On either side of the 
'keying' the surviving paintwork now has the appear- 
ance of two different sized columns of dark red ochre 
in their upper parts and lighter colour below. This is, 

7. Ponting, op. cil, 441-2, Note 2. 

8. Mrs M. Bardswell, Notebooks, Victoria and Albert Museum 
Library, ref: Manuscripts English, c. 1930-64. 

9. F.R. Heath and R.L.P. Jowitt, Utile Guides: Wiltshire, 
London, 1931, 192. 

10. A. Caiger-Smith, English Medieval Mural Paintings, Oxford, 
1963, 180. 

11. A. Mee and C.L.S. Linnell, The King's England: Wiltshire, 
London, 1965, 123. 

12. V.C.H. Wiltshire, op. at., Note 6, 88. 

13. Pevsner and Cherry, op. cit., Note 2, 354. 

14. D. Attwood, St. Mary's Church, Lydiard Tregoz; a Guide to the 
Church and its Monuments, (not dated), third page. 

15. H.H. Brindley, 'Notes on the Mural Paintings of St. Christo- 
pher in English Churches', Antiquaries J nl. 4 (1924), 227-41. 

16. H.C. Whaite, St. Christopher in English Medieval Wallpainung, 
London, 1929. 



however, purely accidental, and it can only be 
assumed that this part of the painting originally 
showed whatever structure supported the central 

The Case for St Christopher 

The grounds for accepting this painting as one of St 
Christopher can be summarised as follows :- 

1. The now headless figure holding the lantern is 
shown well over to the left of the spandrel, and has 
been presumed to be the hermit who was Christo- 
pher's spiritual adviser, and is usually shown holding 
a lantern to emphasise that St Christopher's encounter 
with the Christ-Child took place at night. The hermit 
appears in a number of the surviving wall-paintings of 
the saint; of the forty-three reproductions in Whaite, 
of that author's water-colour copies of the various 
medieval wall-paintings of the saint, ten include the 
hermit and four show him in the same portion of the 
picture as at Lydiard Tregoze. 

2. Trees can figure in any portion of the land shown 
in a painting of St Christopher, and can be seen in 
eleven of Whaite's plates. 

3. A town can, exceptionally, form part of a St 
Christopher painting, but the only example known to 
the present writer is at Baunton, Gloucestershire, 
Plate 32 in Whaite, who says of this feature: 'the 
painting is remarkable for the distant landscape which 
still resembles the windmill and towers in the vicinity 
of the church, especially those of Cirencester, only a 
mile or two distant'. 17 So that one can infer that, if 
Cirencester had not been conveniently to hand for the 
artist to copy from, there might not have been a 
townscape in the painting. Whaite's Plate 28, of the St 
Christopher at Cottered, Hertfordshire, shows plenty 
of buildings, but they are scattered throughout a rural 
landscape, and do not constitute a town. 

4. An important factor not mentioned by previous 
writers is that the Lydiard Tregoze painting is in 
precisely the usual position for a St Christopher, 
namely, as Whaite puts it, 'the paintings usually occur 
on the wall opposite the main entrance, and as most 
churches were entered from the South, the majority of 
St. Christophers are on North walls'. 18 It is of course 
appreciated that nowadays the main entrance to this 
church is through the west door, but there is never- 
theless a south porch and door at Lydiard Tregoze, 
even if it is no longer used. Positioning is, however, 
not conclusive. 

The Case Against St Christopher 

1 . The absence of any trace of the saint from what 
remains of this painting is naturally a grave difficulty. 
Christopher was of giant size; Caxton's translation of 
the late thirteenth-century account of him in the 
Golden Legend, conveniently set out in Whaite, stated 
him to be 'xii cubytes of lengthe'. 19 Paintings of him 
elsewhere seek to emphasise this attribute by portray- 
ing everyone else in the painting on a small scale, 
including the hermit. Thus in another painting of the 
saint on a north nave spandrel, at Raunds, 
Northamptonshire, his feet are at the base of the 
spandrel and his head near the top of it. One would 
therefore expect the hermit at Lydiard Tregoze, if he 
were part of a St Christopher, to be about 45 cm high, 
whereas he is virtually life-size. Moreover, in all 
paintings of the saint his body is bulky in proportion 
to his height and in one hand he carries .a great staff. 
No vestiges of any of these features common to all St 
Christopher paintings are to be seen in the present 

2. At the hermit's suggestion, it was Christopher's 
task to carry travellers over a dangerously turbulent 
river in which many had previously perished. The 
hermit foretold that if this task was acceptable to 
Christ as evidence of the genuineness of Christopher's 
conversion to Christianity, Christ would eventually 
appear to Christopher, and indeed one night He did, 
in the form of a little child. Thus the conventional 
painting of Christopher shows him carrying the 
Christ-Child on one shoulder across the river, the 
latter having the cruciferous nimbus appropriate to a 
Member of the Trinity. The river is itself another 
essential ingredient of the portrayal of this saint, as a 
glance at Whaite's Plates will confirm, and it is often 
embellished with fish, fishermen, boats, sometimes 
fully-rigged ships, and the occasional mermaid. 
Again, none of these features can be identified at 
Lydiard Tregoze; the 'human figures' mentioned 
above could be of anyone. 

3. Fewer than a quarter of the Plates in Whaite show 
the hermit, so that his presence is scarcely conclusive. 
The present painting is described in great detail in the 
quotation from Ponting, above, but the 'hermit' was 
to him a 'watchman or pilgrim'. Moreover, the 
holding of a lamp or lantern was not an emblem 
confined to St Christopher's hermit; to do so was also 
the attribute of a number of saints, notably St Lucy. 20 

4. Trees certainly figure in a number of represen- 

17. Ibid., 35-6. 

18. Ibid., 8. 

19. Ibid., 1. 

20. G. Ferguson, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art, London, 1972, 



tations of St Christopher, but they are by no means 
confined to this subject. They may also signify the 
wood through which the Prefect Olybrius rode to 
confront St Margaret, as at Charlwood, Surrey; or the 
forest in which the three kings went out hunting in 
the Morality of the Three Living and the Three Dead 
at Widford, Oxfordshire; or in an Entry into Jeru- 
salem, as in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre at 
Winchester Cathedral, where trees may be used to 
illustrate the reference in Matthew 21: 8 to branches 
being cut down from them and 'strawed' in Christ's 

5. Ponting was the discoverer of the painting in 
question, so that he would have had the advantage of 
having seen it in its best (modern) condition. That it 
might be a St Christopher painting did not occur to 
him. The identification with St Christopher was not 
put forward until a quarter of a century after the 
discovery of the painting, and then only on the basis 
of Mrs Bardswell's 'hermit, tree, and town'. 

6. The absence from Brindley and Whaite of any 
mention of a St Christopher painting at Lydiard 
Tregoze, while not conclusive, cannot be dismissed 
out of hand. 

The Significance of the Castle or Walled Town 

The present writer does not consider that a con- 
vincing case for the painting in question being of St 
Christopher has been made out, so that the interpreta- 
tion of the painting must be sought elsewhere. 

Its one feature which is common to so many of the 
descriptions of it, above, is that it depicts a castle or 
walled town. It may, therefore, be helpful to consider 
those cases where the ususal iconography of English 
medieval wall-painting renders such a subject essen- 
tial. They are Christ's entry into Jerusalem; St Martin 
dividing his cloak with the beggar; and the Heavenly 
City in a Doom. For obvious reasons the City gate 
must be open for Christ's entry, while in the case of St 
Martin, the encounter took place when he, while still 
a Roman cavalry officer, was riding out through the 
gate of Amiens in the winter of 337. 21 The fact that 
the only visible gate at Lydiard Tregoze is shut is 
therefore enough to exclude both these possibilities. If 
the town were a Heavenly City, it would be more 
likely to be over the chancel arch than where it is, but 
there are exceptions to this. There would, however, in 
any event have to be a space in the middle to 
accommodate Christ the Judge, while in most Dooms 

the Heavenly City would be entirely on His right 
hand, that is to say, on the spectator's left. The city in 
the present case tends to be central and on the 
spectator's right, while there are no vestiges in it of a 
painting of Christ, nor of any of the other essentials of 
a Doom. 

The fact that no precedent can be found among 
surviving wall-paintings for what is left of the painting 
at Lydiard Tregoze is not however the end of the 
matter; it has been estimated that less than one per 
cent of the original wall-paintings in English churches 
still survive. 22 It is thus not unlikely that originally 
more subjects were to be found among medieval 
wall-paintings other than those which are still in 
existence, particularly when the entirely haphazard 
causes of their destruction are borne in mind, from 
wall-tablets to destroyers and even 'restorers'. 

Fortunately, the significance of the castle or walled 
town can be demonstrated from their use as subjects 
in other medieval media, but before giving further 
consideration to this it may be as well to recall what 
Hall says about the typology of the Old Testament, 

The doctrine that the Scriptures, as divine revela- 
tion, form a coherent, integrated whole, their 
authors guided by the hand of God, was developed 
by the early Fathers of the Church into a more 
specific system of correspondences between the two 
parts. People and events in the Old Testament were 
seen as having exact counterparts in the New, in 
other words they were a kind of foreshadowing, or 
prefiguration, of the future. Abraham's 'sacrifice' of 
his son Isaac foreshadowed God's sacrifice of Christ 

As to nomenclature, Abraham and Isaac in the 
example given would be the 'types' and their New 
Testament equivalents the 'antitypes'. 

The type relevant to the painting at Lydiard Tre- 
goze is represented in three misericords described and 
interpreted by Miss M.D. Anderson (Lady Tren- 
chard Cox) in her book The Imagery of British 
Churches, where she begins by quoting 'the verse from 
Ezekiel xliv. 2, "This gate shall be shut, it shall not be 
opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the 
Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it . . .'" 
and adds that this text 'made The Closed Door a very 
ancient type of the Virginity of Mary'. Miss Anderson 
then points out that 'on misericords at Lincoln, 

21. L. Reau, Iconographie de I'Art Chretien, Vol. 3, Part ii, Paris, 
1958, 900. 

22. A. Clifton-Taylor, English Parish Churches as Works of Art, 

London, 1974, 197. 
2i. J. Hall, Hall's Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, 
London, 1985, xv. 



Norwich, and Holy Trinity, Coventry, there are 
carvings of fortified gateways . . .' with, at Norwich, 
an inner building 'topped by a roof which would 
correspond to the 'keep' mentioned by Ponting. This 
roof she describes as having 'chevron markings like 
the base of a leaded church spire, reminding us that 
the Virgin often personified the Church upon earth'. 24 
It will be appreciated that a spire might be difficult to 
accommodate within the confines of a misericord, 
whereas no such limitations would apply to a wall- 
painting, and indeed the existence of a 'kind of temple 
with a central spire' at Lydiard Tregoze was the first 
feature of the painting to be mentioned by Ponting, 
above, who also referred to 'two lead-covered spires'. 
The number of features common to both the miseri- 
cord and the painting therefore include the castle with 
an inner building or keep, a closed gateway, and lead 
coverings of a church spire in the case of the painting 
and of a church, with as much as could be included of 
a spire, in the misericord. 

An additional common feature is the fact that, as 
Miss Anderson points out, the carving on the miseri- 
cord also includes trees, as to which she adds 'so the 
designer probably also had in mind another type of 
the Virgin, suggested by the Song of Solomon (iv. 12), 
"A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse".' 25 This 
arises because the Song had been interpreted by a 
number of medieval theologians, notably Bernard of 
Clairvaux (1090-1153) 'as an elaborate allegory in 
which the bride of the poem was identified with the 
Virgin'. 26 There are no examples of this other type 
forming the subject-matter of any other surviving 
medieval wall-paintings, but glimpses of the garden 
enclosed can be seen in the background of many Old 
Master easel paintings of the Annunciation or the 
Virgin and Child, for example, in the Annunciation 
by Domenico Veneziano (d. 1461) now in the 
Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. 27 However, the 
picture which introduces the greatest number of types 
of the Virgin of which the present writer is aware is 
the frontispiece of a Dutch sixteenth-century Hours 
of the Virgin, also in the Fitzwilliam, 28 which shows, 
among other types, the enclosed garden, its wall and 
gatehouse, and a tower, all of which are types from 
the Song, and all of which have their counterparts at 
Lydiard Tregoze. 

The Song of Solomon has another relevance, in that 

Ponting showed considerable prescience in describing 
the figure in the painting in question as 'a watchman 
. . . carrying a lantern', since watchmen are speci- 
fically mentioned twice in the Song at 3: 3 and 5: 7, on 
both occasions being referred to as 'going about the 
city'. Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, 
Scene iii, confirms that a lantern was a necessary part 
of a watchman's equipment, since he mostly operated 
at night. 

Of importance to the case for the painting repre- 
senting not merely the closed gate, but also the 
enclosed garden, is the fact that the Journal of the 
British Archaeological Association of 1902, quoted 
above, refers to the inclusion in the painting of 


It is regrettable that the present state of deterioration 
of the wall-painting, not to mention the presence of 
the Hardyman wall-tablet, precludes more parallels 
from being drawn. Despite this, it is suggested that 
there are still existing, or existed in 1902, sufficient 
features in common between the painting at Lydiard 
Tregoze and the essential components of both 'types' 
of the Virgin, the closed gate and the enclosed garden, 
to give more credibility to the proposition that the 
painting was originally of those subjects rather than of 
any other, so that its significance is to represent the 
Virgin Mary symbolically. If indeed, this is so, then it 
is of interest to note that this would correspond with 
the dedication of the church to her, but from his 
experience of the rarity of wall-paintings elsewhere 
having any relation to the church's patron saint, the 
present writer would prefer to regard this as a happy 
coincidence rather than a conclusive confirmation of 
his interpretation. 

He would like to leave the last word with Miss 
Anderson, who, after recalling the meanings symbolic 
of the Virgin Mary which such a picture would have 
to a medieval 'parishioner of a mystical turn of mind', 
added that 'to another, as to the majority of 
churchgoers to-day, it appeared only as a well- 
designed representation of a medieval walled town.' 29 

Acknowledgements From the outset of his study of this wall- 
painting, the writer has believed that the probable interpretation lay 
in the direction of the Virgin's enclosed garden. He is indebted to 

24. M.D. Anderson, The Imagery of British Churches, London, 
1955, 149. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Hall, op. cii., Note 23, 121-A, and sections 4, 5, 10 and 12 of the 
rest of the article on the Virgin Mary. Reference may also be 
made to Marina Warner, Alone of all her Sex: the Myth and Cult 

of the Virgin Mary, London, 1976, Ch. 1, passim. 

27. For a reproduction, see H. Wohl, The Paintings of Domenico 
Veneziano, New York, 1980, Plate 123. 

28. Fitzwilliam MS. McClean 99, fol. lib. For a reproduction, see 
Warner, op. cit., Note 26, Plate 29. 

29. Anderson, op. cit., Note 24, 149-50. 


Miss Anderson's book for having widened this to include the REFERENCES 

symbolism of the closed gate, and for having drawn his attention to TRISTRAM, E.W., 1944 English Medieval Wall Painting: the 

the precedents provided by misericords. He would like to add his Twelfth Century London 

customary thanks 'to Miss Jean Hamilton, formerly of the Victoria Tn ,. T „.„ ^ ,„ ',n ;n c„_;- l \t j- i nn n r> . .1 

, , .,,' „ c i f . . " 1RIS1RAM, E.W., 1950 English Medieval wall Painting: the 

and Albert Museum, tor her usual promptness in the supplv ot « . , - . 6 . " 

material from the Bardswell papers. Thirteenth Century, London 

TRISTRAM, E.W., 1955 English Wall Painting of the Fourteenth 
Century, London 

WALL, J. a, [1914] Medieval Wall Paintings, London 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 99-114. 

A Riotous Affray at Salisbury in 1610 


On Tuesday 2 October 1610, during the annual St 
Edmund's Fair, there occurred a 'riotous affray' in 
Salisbury which began with a sword fight between two 
opposing parties of gentlemen and ended with a 
crowd of between 100 and 150 enraged citizens 
besieging a local inn in which one of the parties had 
taken refuge. At a time when the city's Court of 
Common Council were petitioning King James I for 
their Charter of Incorporation, such an affair could 
hardly have been less opportune. It must have been a 
source of embarrassment to the city worthies; and 
with the law suits which followed in the Court of the 
Star Chamber at Westminster, calling into question as 
they did the conduct of the Mayor and the town 
constables, the embarrassment continued until 1613, 
a final verdict being reached only when a Commission 
had sat, nearly two years after the event, to investigate 
the case. 

Some of the legal documents involved are stored in 
the Public Record Office in London. They include a 
Bill of Complaint brought by one William Crosse, 
esq. of West Dean against Roger Hidden, gent, of 
New Sarum and no less than eight co-defendants; 1 
and a cross suit filed by Roger Hidden against William 
Crosse. 2 The eight co-defendants mentioned above 
were Leonard Moggeridge, gent, Edward Carrent, 
gent (members of two prominent Salisbury families), 
George Beach and George Churchouse (the city's 
constables), John Froud, John I vie (later to become 
one of Salisbury's most famous citizens and Mayor), 
William Daniel, householder, and Matthew Figg. In 
the course of the two suits over eighty citizens of 
Salisbury or other persons are mentioned by name, 
and depositions were given by some thirty-four 
deponents in answer to seventy-six interrogatories. 
These depositions together with the Bills and 
Answers, contain such a wealth of detail as to the 
street topography and social life of the inhabitants of 
Salisbury at that period as to make them a valuable 
source of local history. 

Piecing together as best one can the many differing 
and contradictory accounts of those portions of the 

affray which the various deponents had witnessed, the 
events of the day in question seem to have been as 
follows: at about four o'clock in the afternoon of 2 
October 1610, Roger Hidden (who was then aged 
24), 3 with his friend Edward Carrent set out to walk 
from Leonard Moggeridge's house in Endless Street 
to the Dolphin Inn in Catherine Street where Carrent 
had business, he claimed, with Anthony Penruddock. 
Outside Moggeridge's house they met John Froud, a 
local man, servant to Sir William Webb, who seems to 
have decided to tag along with them. The three 
continued from Endless Street into Catherine Street 
and, in order to reach the Dolphin, had to pass 
another inn called the Antelope. There sitting on a 
bench conspicuously in front of the Antelope and 
talking to the innkeeper, John Provest, and to Robert 
Lawes, a yeoman farmer from Hale in Hampshire, 
was William Crosse. Crosse, from the Hampshire- 
Wiltshire border territory of West Dean, was a former 
soldier who had seen service in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth and was receiving a pension from the Crown 
for his services. 4 He is referred to as 'Captain Crosse' 
and, in addition to his local connections, had also a 
residence in Hackney which was then part of 

According to Roger Hidden, supported by the 
testimony of Edward Carrent and John Froud, when 
William Crosse saw them coming he suddenly sprang 
up from the bench and put his hand to his sword; and 
seeing him do this, Roger Hidden himself drew his 
sword in order to be ready to defend himself. William 
Crosse, however, maintained that Hidden came up 
with his dagger already drawn but concealed under 
his cloak, with the intent to strike him with it. In any 
event, a scuffle ensued between Crosse and Hidden, 
but before this had developed far William Crosse was 
joined by his brother George. 

George Crosse, who in his deposition described 
himself as 27 years of age and of Hackney, explains 
his rapid appearance on the scene as being due to the 
lucky circumstance that he had been in the tailor's 
shop ('at the sign of the Lamb') of one Richard Goffe, 

1 PRO: STAC8/109/20. 

2 PRO: STAC8/176/8. 

Hungerford, Berks., parish register 
PRO: E403/2364, 2365. 

Baptisms 27 Dec. 1585. 



Approximate position of inns and alehouses referred to in 
the text 

in Catherine Street a little higher up from the 
Antelope. He was being measured for a 'fries jerkin' 
and when he saw Hidden, Carrent and John Froud 

pass, had rushed out and followed them, arriving in 
their rear as the clash with William Crosse began. 
This arrival is perhaps what William Crosse meant 
when he stated in his Bill that 'he would assuredly 
have been slain by the said riotous persons if he had 
not otherwise been preserved from their fury and 
outrage by the providence of almighty God'. Crosse 
goes on to recount how 'he did often request and 
desire the said riotous persons to surcease from such 
their riotous assault and tumults' but such was the 
fury of their attack that 'they continued then and 
there assaulting striking and thrusting with their said 
unlawful weapons at your said subject for the space of 
one hour or more', during which time his servant 
Thomas Ford drew his sword 'to preserve and defend 
your said subject'. 

Accounts are confused at this point. Roger Hidden 
says that he and William Crosse were parted 'by the 
coming in of company'. William Crosse having 
retreated into the courtyard of the Antelope, Hidden 
and Carrent were still in the street outside when they 
were attacked by a band of Crosse's retainers, 
consisting of Thomas Ford, Anthony Carter, 
Christopher Gauntlett, and one Fisher, 'every one of 
them having either a sword or a rapier drawn in his 
hand'. It was no doubt the arrival of these 
reinforcements which caused John Froud prudently 
to cross over to the other side of the rivulet or water 
channel (which ran along the middle of Catherine 
Street in those days) where he observed what was 
happening in comparative safety. When these 
supporters of William Crosse came at Hidden and 
Carrent, the two Crosse brothers and Daniel 
Cartwright, another of Crosse's servants, came out to 
'back and side' them. 

Where did Crosse's reinforcements spring from? 
Edward Morgan, a local haberdasher, certifies that he 
could see the affray from the door of his shop almost 
opposite, and that at a certain point Anthony Carter 
and Christopher Gauntlett who had been in his shop 
'taking of tobacco' rushed forth and drew their 
swords, crying 'Is that our Master, Captain Crosse? 
We will live and die in his quarrel before we will see 
him wronged' and thereupon went over the water (i.e. 
across the channel previously mentioned) 'and did 
fight for the Complainant'. With their arrival, Hidden 
and Carrent were now in dire trouble, heavily 
outnumbered. Froud, as mentioned above, had 
already skipped across the stream to safety. But as the 
fighting intensified Carrent's brother-in-law, Leonard 
Moggeridge, having heard of the encounter while at 
the Three Swans which was 'distant from the 
Antelope by the space of a furlong' rushed out to aid 



his friend and his brother-in-law. He had a sword 
and, as we shall see, used it to some effect. 

Nor was Leonard Moggeridge the only one to come 
to their aid. Some of the local citizens had also begun 
to take part, though with cruder and less conventional 
weapons. Of these John I vie was the staunchest. Ivie 
was at this date a young man, set up in business as a 
goldsmith. He and his father-in-law John Puxton, an 
attorney and later to become M.P. for Salisbury, were 
neighbours of Roger Hidden's stepfather, Robert 
Roberts, a well-to-do grocer. Hearing of the affray, 
Puxton suggested to Ivie who was working in his 
goldsmith's shop that he should go and see what was 
happening. Ivie deposes that when he arrived on the 
scene 'fearing someone on either side would be 
seriously hurt, not having a weapon and standing on 
the other side of the small river which runs through 
the street, where there were some empty cowls, which 
cowls were [barrels] to put ale in, of a brewer that 
dwelt there', he picked up and threw 'two or three' of 
these cowls over the water, between the parties as they 
were fighting. When this didn't have any effect he 
grabbed a staff from a bystander and 'did step into the 
river and standing there, as it were indifferent to 
either party, did assay to part them by striking down 
the weapons of either side'. It is clear that a large 
number of citizens were now gathering, but without 
swords they were relatively helpless to intervene. 
Only the ingenious and determined John Ivie found 
weapons to hand and although his intervention was no 
doubt particularly of assistance to the outnumbered 
Hidden, Carrent, and Moggeridge there may be some 
truth in his shrewd remark that he feared someone on 
either side would be seriously hurt. In fact, two of the 
contestants were so injured; one was Thomas Ford 
and the other Roger Hidden. 

Moggeridge's assistance enabled Carrent to 
withdraw to safety to a house further down the street. 
At some stage in the fray Ford was wounded in the 
face, Crosse claimed by Moggeridge. The seriousness 
of this wound ranges from William Crosse's 
description of how Ford's nose, upper teeth, lip and 
lower jaw were completely severed and fell to the 
ground, to the account of a bystander that only the 
end of his nose was cut so that it hung down by the 
skin, whereupon Ford himself pulled it off and threw 
it down. This witness (Richard Locke, barber) goes 
on to say that he thinks 'that the nose might have been 
cured if it had been taken in hand while the wound 
was warm'. Who it was who actually gave the blow 
which did the damage to Ford seems to have been 
hard to tell with so many swords being brandished all 
at the same time, quite apart from cowls flying at the 

contestants. Whereas Crosse charged the deed to 
Moggeridge, Gilbert Jackson, a weaver, suggests that 
it may have happened in the melee as the 
unintentional result of a stroke by Ford's co-fighter 
Anthony Carter; and Richard Locke even surmises 
that it might have been William Crosse himself since 
Crosse, this witness claims, was behind Thomas Ford 
and was thrusting with his rapier 'over Thomas 
Ford's shoulder and under the arms of the said Ford 
at Roger Hidden'. 

Whoever inflicted the wound, it was not bad 
enough to stop Thomas Ford from continuing to 
fight. Nevertheless, William Crosse makes much of 
Ford's injury in his Bill of Complaint, declaring that 
Ford was so wounded and maimed 

as that he is in great and apparent danger of his life 
and if he doth live yet there is small hope that his 
wounds and hurt which he received will ever be 
cured, for so it is, if it may please your Majesty, the 
said Leonard Moggeridge . . . seeing the said Ford 
endeavour to defend your subject and seeing him 
assaulted by other of the said rioters did then and 
there in most barbarous cruel and bloody manner 
with an arming sword . . . strike the said Ford upon 
the face and gave him such a blow as he therewith cut 
off the nose, upper teeth, lip and jaws of the said 
Thomas Ford so that they fell upon the ground, 
whereat the said Roger Hidden . . . did then and 
there rejoice and in scoffing manner unchristianly 
and barbarously said unto the said Ford 'take up thy 
chops'. And the said John Ivy after such time as the 
said Moggeridge had spoiled and mangled the said 
Ford's face as is aforesaid did with a club or bat . . . 
strike divers and many very sore and cruel blows at 
and upon the head of the said Ford so that it is by the 
only providence of Almighty God that the said Ford 
should escape with life, if he doth escape, which is 
much to be feared. 

It must have been about this time that Edward 
Carrent 'having his rapier broken did clean retire 
himself back from the fighting' and Leonard 
Moggeride also made his getaway. John Ivie relates 
that he saw Roger Hidden also with his rapier broken 
retreating from Ford and the others but 'the said Ford 
did follow him with great fury'. Hidden was struck 
down, again according to Ivie, by a bystander with a 
club as he was being attacked by Ford whose attack, 
no doubt exacerbated by the pain of his own wounds, 
was particularly savage. As Hidden lay stunned on the 
ground Ford stabbed him with his sword in 'the head, 
breast, back, hands and other parts of his body 
inasmuch as he then received thirteen wounds'. 



At this point bystanders intervened and were by 
now powerful enough in number to rescue Hidden 
and carry him off to the nearby White Bear Inn, 
Thomas Ford retreating to the Antelope. 

News of the affair and, no doubt, of the injuries to 
Roger Hidden, had spread and the local citizens 
began to assemble in ever increasing numbers. 
William Crosse trying to get the law on his side had a 
plan to seek out the Mayor to complain about these 
'riotous persons'. Clearly anticipating the hostility of 
the citizens, he asked two country gentlemen from 
well-known local families, Simon Clifford and 
Anthony Penruddock, both of whom were with him 
in the Antelope, to accompany him to the Mayor. 
However, as soon as they stepped out of the inn the 
crowd began to close in on them shouting 'down with 
them, down with them'. Anthony Penruddock was 
knocked over and the other two escaped back into the 
Antelope where William Crosse locked himself into 
one of the upper chambers for safety. 

One of the innkeeper's servants was sent by Provest 
to find the Mayor, who despatched one of the city's 
constables, George Beach, a saddler, aged 40, and as it 
happened an active member of the congregation of St 
Edmund's church. On his way to the Antelope, Beach 
met John I vie who had also set off to fetch the 
constable, and together they went to the Antelope 
where they arrested Anthony Penruddock (John Ivie 
in his Answer describes him as 'very unruly') and 
others named by the citizens as 'affrayers', all of 
whom were of William Crosse's party. These were 
taken to the city gaol, a move probably designed to 
save them from the fury of the crowd. When Beach 
returned from this first attempt to defuse the situation 
he found that another constable, George Churchouse, 
had arrived to assist him. 

The crowd however were far from satisfied, and 
informed Beach of the serious nature of Hidden's 
injuries. Beach went to the White Bear to look at him 
and hearing the surgeon's report that the injured man 
was unlikely to survive his wounds, he realised that he 
had a potential case of murder on his hands. At once 
he set off to report the affair to the Mayor. This was 
Thomas Eyre who had come to office only a few 
months before, in mid-term, on the death of his 
predecessor. Eyre authorised Beach to arrest William 
Crosse and his brother George. On returning to the 
Antelope the constable found that the Crosses were 
locked in an upper room of the inn, looking out of the 
window onto the courtyard where an angry mob had 
gathered. Not surprisingly, Crosse refused to come 
out. It was in this impasse that William Daniell got 
himself named as a co-defendant by saying 'in a loud 

voice' that if he were the constables and someone was 
murdered, he'd get the culprits even if it meant taking 
the tiles off the roof. He was thereupon enrolled by 
George Beach to assist in making the arrests, as were 
several others of the crowd. In the end the officers 
were able to get the two Crosse brothers out of the inn 
by means of some equivocation: Churchouse 
promised them safe passage to see the Mayor, but 
instead of being taken to his Worship direct they were 
taken to the gaol, where they lodged for the next 
twenty-four hours. 

Meanwhile Roger Hidden lay at the White Bear 
having his wounds dressed. Thomas Holton, a young 
spurrier, deposes that Hidden had fourteen wounds 
and that the surgeon who dressed them thought some 
of them mortal, since he was 'run into the breast and 
back, the one wound against the other, which the 
chirurgeon thought had been thrust through the 
body'. Ralph Neale, a barber surgeon working in 
Salisbury, deposes that Hidden had a wound in his 
breast about three inches deep, one in his back nearly 
three inches deep, part of one of his forefingers cut 
off, one of his middle fingers almost cut off, one of his 
thumbs cut in two, together with other injuries to the 
number of thirteen 'bleeding wounds'. 

It is not surprising to hear that in the night a 
'passing bell' was tolled for him, presumably from the 
church of St Edmund (where his step-father Robert 
Roberts had been Churchwarden the previous year). 
It is likely that the tolling of the bell was a device by 
Hidden's townsman friends to keep public 
indignation at a high pitch and perhaps to protect him 
from possible arrest until his wounds were healed. 
Whatever the case, he stayed at the White Bear rather 
than at his step-father's house which was a mere 
stone's throw distant, and after some ten or eleven 
days he was smuggled out of the city at night to the 
village of Stratford-sub-Castle, one mile or so distant, 
outside the city limits and therefore outside its 

Twenty four hours following the affray William 
Crosse was granted release from gaol in exchange for 
custody by another local constable, Joachim Parker. 
During this time Robert Smith, a clerk of Hackney, 
was active on Crosse's behalf. At his first application 
bail was refused. By Saturday, however, bail was 
accepted from Alexander Tutt, gent, and 'Mr. 
Stockman', and Crosse was released. Furious with his 
treatment, he began setting about to have legal 
recourse not only on Hidden, Carrent, and 
Moggeridge, but also on the officers who had 
'arrested' him and the local citizens who had helped 
them. He demanded that the city authorities should 



arrest Hidden, Carrent, and Moggeridge for the 
maiming of his man Ford, and clearly threatened 
them with being part of a conspiracy to deny him 
justice. Hence in his Bill he includes the city 
constables George Beach and George Churchouse as 
co-defendants. Crosse must have had influential 
connections: Penruddock and Clifford (who were 
with him at the Antelope), Tutt and Stockman (who 
were his bailors) were all gentlemen of standing or 
wealth. His visits to local attorneys were assiduous, as 
various depositions show. Moreover, he was well 
experienced in suits and legal procedure, for he had 
been, or still was, involved in at least three other suits: 
one against his own father, another against his sister's 
father-in-law, and a third against his brother-in-law. 5 

Certainly he stirred the city authorities sufficiently 
for his three young adversaries to betake themselves 
out of the city. Hidden was in particular danger since, 
for reasons we shall shortly see, his was the major 
quarrel with William Crosse; Moggeridge and Carrent 
assisting him out of loyalty and friendship. Thwarted 
by Hidden's removal from the city while he allowed 
his wounds to heal, Crosse filed his Bill of Complaint 
in the Court of Star Chamber on 21 November 1610 
and was granted a writ of subpoena, to which Hidden, 
Carrent, and Moggeridge gave their Answer on the 28 
November of the same year. George Beach, William 
Daniell, John Froud and John I vie gave their Answers 
later in February of the following year. George 
Churchouse makes neither Answer nor deposition, so 
possibly the case against him may have been dropped. 
No document exists on behalf of Matthew Figg, no 
deposition mentions him, and nothing more is known 
of him. 

By this time Roger Hidden had recovered 
sufficiently to realise the need for counter measures if 
his side of the story was to be given equal credence to 
that of William Crosse. He presented to the Court his 
own Bill of Complaint in February 1611, naming as 
defendants William Crosse, Thomas Ford and Daniel 
Cartwright. He claims that the Crosse brothers 
intended to 'take away [his] life' or if they could not 
do that 'yet to do and work him the most public 
disgrace and as much harm and mischief to his person 
as they could'. He relates how William Crosse had 
prepared for the encounter which finally took place at 
St Edmund's Fair by gathering a band of assistants 
which included Thomas Ford and his brother John 
Ford, as well as Daniel Cartwright, a retainer whom 
Crosse had formerly discharged but now re- 
employed. In addition he sought out three additional 

confederates 'of low and dishonest dispositions', viz. 
Anthony Carter 'who had long time wandered up and 
down under the name of a soldier', Christopher 
Gauntlett 'who had been for many crimes in sundry 
gaols' and had not long before fled out of the country 
'being vehemently suspected for a robbery done not 
far from the city' and 'had lately returned with a lewd 
woman following him out of Russia' (as he reported), 
and one Fisher 'a loose fellow lately returned out of 
Ireland', presumably from military campaigning 

The Bill makes clear the military background of 
'Captain' Crosse's little band. And it goes on to 
describe the sequence of events in the light of a 
realisation, rather too late, that Captain Crosse's 
disposition of his forces on the day of 2 October had 
been most militarily efficient. For this band, knowing 
that Roger Hidden would set out from his step- 
father's house and walk 'along Catherine Street', 
placed several of their number in certain houses in 
that street 'in ambush', while William Crosse and 
George Crosse sat themselves conspicuously 'in the 
open street' outside the Antelope. When the meeting 
between the two parties then took place, William 
Crosse and his brother immediately started up and 
gave their confederates a signal or watchword. Then 
follows an account of the fighting, and at the end a 
final statement that on hearing that Roger Hidden had 
escaped death William Crosse is reported to have said 
that 'he wished he had given a thousand pounds or a 
greater sum of money that [Roger Hidden] had been 
slain'. The Bill is signed by attorneys Crewe, Mone, 
W. Brocke and, most interestingly as we shall see 
later, the Salisbury attorney Henry Sherfield. 

Some new facts come to light in Crosse's demurrer 
to this Bill. For instance, Crosse's account of his 
sitting outside the Antelope now becomes 'having 
done his business at the Fair, [he] was only pausing 
for the filling of a bottle of wine to take home about 5 
miles distant about 4 o'clock, sitting quietly and 
peaceably on a bench near the outer gate of the 
Antelope with John Provest and Robert Lawes, 
servant to Sir Thomas Penruddock'. John Provest 
told Crosse that he had heard a rumour that he should 
be beaten or set upon before he went out of the city 
and then 'suddenly' John Provest laid his hand on 
William Crosse's arm and said 'Here come the men 
and one of them has his dagger drawn under his cloak. 
Look to yourself for they draw upon you.' At these 
words 'the defendant, looking about espied the 
plaintiff and others in his company with their swords 

5 PRO: C2/Jas I/C9/57; C2/Jas I/S34/6; C3/289/69. 



and rapiers half drawn'. Crosse stepped back under 
the gate of the inn 'for his better safeguard and 
defence', but Hidden and Carrent pursued and 
assailed him. Crosse explains that he told Edward 
Carrent and the others that he 'had nothing to do with 
them and willed them to depart and be gone'. His 
only quarrel, he said, was with Hidden. Then follows 
his account of the fighting and the gathering of the 
crowd and the arrival of the constables and his arrest 
by them, more or less as given by him previously. 

That Crosse's real quarrel was with Hidden is 
almost certainly true. But what was the nature of this 
quarrel between the two men which had led to such an 
explosive affray at St Edmund's Fair? Tracing 
backwards through the Court documents, it is clear 
that Hidden had an affair of honour to settle with 
Crosse. The injury that he had suffered at the hands 
of Crosse had been a public beating. On 24 September 
precedent to the affray, William Crosse, it is claimed, 
came to New Sarum with his brother and some of his 
retainers and made for Robert Roberts' house. Here 
one of them called for Roger Hidden and requested 
him to step outside to talk with him. When he did so, 
the others, concealed under neighbour John Puxton's 
porch, stepped out; and William Crosse 'having 
prepared a great short truncheon or bastinado in his 
hand which he held covertly under his cloak until the 
defendant came near unto him, did then with the 
same truncheon staff strike [Roger Hidden] on the 
arms and body many grievous blows, wherewithal his 
flesh was sorely bruised and hurt.' 

George Crosse and Thomas Ford are alleged also to 
have drawn their swords, but Hidden escaped back 
into his step-father's house without further injury 
than the bastinadoing. Crosse, though not admitting 
the drawn swords allegation, does not deny that he 
beat up or bastinadoed Hidden. Indeed there were 
several deponents who testify to having seen the 
incident which took place in broad daylight, at about 
2 in the afternoon, in or just off the marketplace. 
Ralph Neale deposes that he saw it happen outside 
Robert Roberts' shop; Richard Barrett, Robert Cecil 
and William Jordan depose likewise. Neale makes the 
point that in addition to the bastinadoing, George 
Crosse 'drew his weapon and did strike at Roger 
Hidden a downright blow which would have 
dangerously wounded the said Hidden if the 
penthouse [overhanging the shop doorway] had not 
hindered the blow'. 

Crosse's explanation for perpetrating this public 
slight upon Hidden - the equivalent of a later age's 
'horsewhipping' perhaps - was that the latter had 
taken a pair of bowls and a pistol from his residence 

and had failed to return them after several requests. 
As he makes no suggestion of burglary, one is left 
with the impression that at one stage some degree of 
intimacy may have existed, involving visits to Crosse's 
residence. Nor is any charge of 'stealing' the bowls 
preferred; and the matter of the pistol is mentioned 
quite incidentally. All in all the bowls story sounds 
rather unconvincing. 

Roger Hidden's account is that about midsummer 
1610 George Crosse came to Salisbury on behalf of his 
brother and 'seemed to be very much offended, and 
after a few speeches told [him] that his brother had 
sent him for a pair of bowls' which he claimed Roger 
Hidden had, 'whereas in truth this defendant had not 
to his knowledge any bowls which belonged to the 
complainant'. Inflamed by this reply George Crosse 
declared that 'if he did not deliver the bowls he should 
not put his head out of doors but he should be 
beaten'. A short time later, on 1 1 September, he came 
once more and seemed to be trying by 'foul speeches' 
to provoke a quarrel, finally threatening Hidden that 
if he didn't bring the bowls to Clarendon Park pale by 
Friday 14 September, he would run him through with 
his rapier 'wheresoever he saw him against a wall'. 
Clearly it was Hidden's failure to keep this assignation 
which resulted in the Crosses' attack on him in the 
porch of his house on the afternoon of the 14th. 

One can hardly imagine that a dispute over the 
ownership of a pair of bowls could, would, or should 
lead to such remarkable goings-on. On the other hand 
if a matter of 'honour' were involved, the dispute 
concerning the bowls would provide a convenient 
smoke screen. The ultimatum delivered by George 
Crosse that Roger should appear at the boundary of 
Clarendon Park, one mile distant and outside the city 
jurisdiction, suggests a challenge to a duel, a form of 
activity which James I had recently and strongly 
prohibited. If so, and as William Crosse was a 
hardened professional soldier and Hidden a youthful 
civilian, the latter's refusal to be involved would be 
hardly surprising. Equally understandable would be 
the Crosses' determination to punish him for this 
refusal by a public beating. 

That there was more to the matter than a pair of 
bowls (with or without the pistol) is made clear by 
Roger in his Bill of Complaint where he alleges that 
the real reason for the hatred and malice borne against 
him by the Crosses arose because the previous Easter, 
when he was in Hungerford attending certain 
business there and also enjoying some sport at the 
bull-baiting and at card-playing, he 'did see and 
discover that [George Crosse] did use tricks and shifts 
in play at cards with sundry gentlemen . . . and had 



an instrument called a resort whereby to cozen and 
deceive such as played with him at cards'. This 
'resort' is described by deponent William Hill, who 
was also present, as a 'deceitful' instrument 'made of 
brasse, hollowe, the bigness of a card, and goeth with 
divers springs to take in cards and put them out 
again'. Roger Hidden seems to have told a number of 
persons, including Alexander Tutt who was present at 
the card play, of George Crosse's use of the 'resort' 
against a certain Mr Yerbury. His motives for making 
such a serious accusation are not known. 

He himself had just completed the sale of a 
substantial land holding in Hungerford, called the 
Priory lands, 6 and it may be that he had money to 
spend, and did indeed spend it on card play. This is 
unsubstantiated speculation, however, and there is no 
suggestion by either party in all the legal documents 
of the case, including the depositions of those present 
that Hidden was engaged in card playing, as distinct 
from observing, leave alone losing money. Gilbert 
Jackson, a weaver from Salisbury, relates that 'at a 
sport of bull-baiting' held in Hungerford in the week 
previous to Easter there had been card-playing among 
the gentlemen. He says that George Crosse met him in 
the street and gave him three sets of new cards and 
told him that if new cards were called for during the 
game he should hand out these sets. Jackson 
suspected that the cards were false and found that in 
fact they were 'sleeked' or marked cards 'done in such 
a way that those who knew the use of them would 
always cut an ace, so that four playing with those 
cards, those two that know the use of them may easily 
deceive the other two of all their money'. Further 
evidence concerning the 'resort' comes, at first sight 
surprisingly, from George Crosse's brother Thomas, 
who lived at Grately in Hampshire, his parents' home. 
He confirmed that such an instrument was indeed in 
his brother's possession. He says that William 
Crosse's servant came to Grately with a letter from 
William asking Thomas to take the resort from his 
trunk (to which the servant had brought the key) and 
give it to the bearer to take to George. Asked 
concerning the whereabouts of this letter, Thomas 
replied that it was with 'either his mother or his 

Here then, in the charges of card-cheating made 
back in Easter of that year, may have lain the seeds of 
the quarrel between Roger Hidden and William 
Crosse. Clearly the Crosses would not have wished the 
card-cheating affair to be brought forward in court as 

their reason for beating Roger, so may they not have 
found a more convenient pretext in the matter of the 
bowls? Nevertheless, some difficulties remain. For 
the main quarrel seems to have been between William 
Crosse and Roger Hidden, to which George is merely 
an accessory. And if George's honour was at stake at 
Eastertide, why was there no duel-type assignation 
then, but nearly six months later? Was it because 
William was an older, more experienced man, and 
much more formidable (one would assume) with 
weapons than his younger brother George? Moreover, 
why did Thomas Crosse make a deposition which 
must have given strong support to Roger's charges 
reflecting on the honour of his brother George? These 
questions the lawsuits dealing with the 'affray' do not 
answer. Later, a consideration of documents in some 
totally different court cases may throw more light on 
the situation within the Crosse family. 

There is one deposition, however, made in answer 
to the Court's interrogatories, which brings in new 
matter referred to neither in the plaintiffs Bill nor in 
the defendant's Answers. This is the deposition of 
William Stanesby (or Stansby) a young man aged 26 
who describes himself as of Hackney. Stanesby was 
married to William Crosse's sister Margaret and he 
tells how Margaret was 'seduced' into leaving him to 
go with Roger Hidden to London in what would seem 
to be the late summer of 1609. If this explanation were 
true, it would indeed provide an adequate motive for 
the ill-will between William and George Crosse, 
jealous of their sister's honour, and the man who had 
persuaded her to leave her husband. Card-cheating, 
bowls, pistol, bastinadoing - all become reduced to 
'cherchez la femme\ Some new problems arise: why 
did Margaret come back from London after only one 
month; why did Roger continue to live with his 
respectable church-going step-father; why did 
Thomas Crosse give evidence on his behalf; why did 
Hidden feel sufficiently aggrieved after the 
bastinadoing publicly to threaten William Crosse 
when next he should come into town? There may be 
doubt whether all such actions square with the 
behaviour of a couple guilty of an illicit relationship. 
The alternative, however, would be that Stanesby's 
evidence, bringing to public attention, as no one else 
apparently had wished to do, the alleged infidelity of 
his wife, was simply untrue. 

Such a background to the case, all designed to show 
pre-existing 'hatred and malice' between the parties, 
provided their Lordships of the Court of the Star 

6 PRO: CP 25 (2)/272/ 8 Jas I Easter. 



Chamber with questions which seemed to recede ever 
further backward in time from the actual incidents of 
2 October. How did they assess the evidence and what 
conclusion did they reach? Normally the Court would 
issue its decree and from those immaculately written 
parchment sheets in which the decree was enrolled we 
could read the summing up and sentencing in the 
case. Alas, the decrees of the Court of the Star 
Chamber dating from the reigns of Elizabeth, James I 
and most of Charles I were lost at some date in the 
seventeenth century. 

An American scholar, Thomas G. Barnes, has 
pointed out that sometimes an indication of the 
Court's sentence may be obtained by consulting the 
records of the Exchequer, King's Remembrancer 
branch, which amid a vast quantity of incoming 
payments includes the receipt of fines proceeding 
from judgements given in the Court of the Star 
Chamber, often between one to three years later. 7 

There is no entry for fines in the Hidden v. Crosse 
suit, but the entry for fines in the Crosse v. Hidden 
suit has been found among the receipts for 1616, and 
it records that Hidden, Carrent, and Moggeridge were 
each fined £100, John Ivie £20 and William Daniel 20 
marks. 8 The conclusion is that William Crosse won 
his case against five of the defendants, but not against 
the constables Beach and Churchouse, nor John 
Froud, nor the mysterious Matthew Figg. 

Beach and Churchouse as city officers were clearly 
in a different category from the other defendants, and 
it may be presumed that the case against them was 
dismissed, since their actions could be construed as 
undertaken in pursuit of their duty (however much 
this may have enraged Captain Crosse). Figg is 
possibly a legal fiction, a name designed to complete 
the requisite number of defendants in a case of riot. 
The non-existence of a fine against John Froud may 
be explained by an entry in the parish register of St 
Thomas's church: 'John Frowde buried 23 March 
1612' (= 1613 new style). 

The bare sentence is tantalising enough for one to 
wish to know more as to how the final decision was 
arrived at after so long a period of deliberation . We 
know that Crosse's Bill was filed on 21 November 
1610, near the end of the Michaelmas term. Without 
doubt the Christmas vacation delayed further 
progress other than the usual subpoena requiring the 
three major defendants to file their Answers. This 

they did on 28 November. The cross-suit, the 
remaining Answers and the depositions of witnesses 
did not begin to take place until the commencement 
of the Hilary term 1611. After this there seems to have 
been a long delay, broken only by the appointment of 
a commission in November 1612 to take new or 
additional depositions. The commissioners were: Sir 
Walter Vaughan, Sir Carew Raleigh, William 
Stockman, and Thomas Chafin. These four might be 
regarded as a nice combination of rural and urban, 
two country gentlemen and two well-to-do citizens, 
which (by accident or by design) matched the rural 
gentry status of Crosse with the urban background of 
his opponents. 9 

Among the attorneys employed by the defendants 
in the case brought by William Crosse, there is one 
who was employed by all seven: viz. Henry Sherfield. 
Sherfield, who later became Recorder of Salisbury, 
was also elected Member of Parliament for 
Southampton (first in 1614, then again in 1621-24) 
and finally for Salisbury (1624-29). In religion a 
Puritan, in politics he opposed the court and in 
particular its favourite, Buckingham. By great good 
chance his private papers have been preserved and are 
stored in the Hampshire Record Office. Among them 
are his Memoranda Books 10 which contain records of 
payment of small sums by Roger Hidden and other of 
his co-defendants which would seem to be 
consultation fees, together with some larger 
transactions with the Carrent and Moggeridge 
families, including a bond of £500 in respect of 
Leonard Moggeridge of Bountes Court, near Sarum, 
dated 14 February 1613/14, which might possibly 
represent the sums expended to pay the fines and 
costs already referred to. 

More important than these miscellanea, however, 
are a batch of documents which clearly ought to have 
been with the missing Star Chamber decrees but 
which were either copied or retained by Sherfield. 11 
They consist of two certificates of opinion given by Sir 
Francis Bacon, then Solicitor General, on the Crosse 
v. Hidden case, together with a petition in November 
1612 by Roger Hidden requesting legal assistance, a 
further petition dated 8 November 1613 in the nature 
of an appeal against the sentence given, and a final 
document dated 1 January 1613/14 certifying that 
Moggeridge, Hidden and Carrent had paid the fines 
imposed upon them. From these documents we are in 

7 PRO: Thomas G. Barnes, 'Fines in the High Court of the Star 
Chamber. 1596-1641' T/s 1971. 

8 PRO: E159/448/Trin/ 13 Jas 1/145. 

9 PRO: STAC8/109/20. 

10 Hants. RO: Jervmse of Hermard collection 44M69L25/1-6; 

1 1 ibid. , Jervoise of Hemard collection 44M69L49/16; L55/77. 



the unique position of being able to obtain some idea 
of what occurred during the delay between early 1611 
and the final conclusion of the legal side of the affair. 

Roger Hidden's cross-suit against Crosse and 
Crosse's suit against Hidden were referred by the 
Court of Star Chamber to Sir Francis Bacon. After 
consideration of the cases, in the presence of both 
parties and of their counsel, Bacon gave it as his 
opinion that William Crosse, George Crosse, Thomas 
Ford and Daniel Cartwright in their demurrer had not 
made satisfactory answer to that part of the matter 
which concerned the bastinadoing. But 'as touching 
the matter of scandal inserted by way of recrimination 
in the answer of Hidden to the Bill of Complaint of 
William Crosse', Bacon found it not pertinent and 
outside the jurisdiction of the court to deal with, since 
it concerned parties not involved in the suit. 

Thus, of the actions precedent to the affray and 
which might explain some of its motivating causes, 
out go the card-sharping, the bowls and the 
elopement. But although one of the main props of 
Hidden's cross-suit had been demolished, as always 
must have seemed likely for the reasons given by Sir 
Francis, Bacon's dissatisfaction with the demurrer 
raised by Crosse and company must have given 
Hidden cause for optimism. He seems to have felt 
sufficiently secure to have left London, where he 
found living expensive, to return to Salisbury. 
Leaving London, however, was a mistake even more 
expensive. There may have been rejoicing in 
Salisbury on Hidden's return, but Captain William 
Crosse of Hackney knew better than to quit the field 
of battle before victory was finally won. At a further 
hearing in Hidden's absence (29 October 1611) Bacon 
gave a revised opinion that Roger Hidden's Bill 

is in all parts thereof to be dismissed save only in 
that part which concerneth the bastinadoing of 
the said plaintiff Hidden, which offence I find to 
be of this nature, viz., that the defendant 
William Crosse did not upon any premeditate 
malice or purpose to disgrace the plaintiff strike 
him with a cudgel or the like but only with a 
small stick which by chance he had then in his 
hand, upon a sudden heat and choler by reason of 
some words of indignation uttered unto the 
defendant by the plaintiff, which offence I 
humbly leave to the consideration of your 
Lordship and his honourable Court. 

In the light of this second opinion, it would have been 
difficult for his Lordship to do other than dismiss the 
incident from any real bearing upon the case. 
Suddenly Hidden's suit was in ruins. There is no 

doubt that Bacon's opinion is at variance with later 
depositions of witnesses as well as with the character 
of William Crosse, who throughout had shown 
military discipline and an ability to keep choler under 
control on all occasions when necessary. 

How then did so eminent a lawyer as Bacon come to 
take a view which, to the layman, might seem to fly in 
the face of the evidence, especially the depositions 
concerning the bastinadoing by Ralph Neale, John 
Barrowe, Richard Bennett, Robert Cecil and William 
Jordan? In the first place none of these depositions 
was made until after Bacon's opinion had been given: 
Bacon heard only the accounts of the two adversaries. 
Perhaps at this point one should consider Crosse's 
persuasive ability as shown in the terms and 
phraseology of his recorded evidence. A study of his 
Bill of Complaint, though no doubt drafted by that 
brilliant attorney Thomas Richardson, reveals a 
masterly ability to strike the right tone to secure 
sympathy and to present the kind of statement which 
will be likely to convince others, unless effectively 
challenged. And the startling fact is that when Bacon 
heard Crosse neither Hidden nor his counsel were 
present to challenge him. 

This information comes from a 'humble petition' 
made by Roger Hidden on 2 November 1612 to Lord 
Chancellor Ellesmere when, his suit having been 
dismissed and costs awarded against him, Hidden 
explains that after Bacon's first opinion he had had to 
leave London through poverty. Then following his 
departure 'the said Crosse procured a second report 
from Sir Francis Bacon (your Petitioner nor any of his 
counsel being called thereunto)'. The petition goes on 
to state that Hidden's financial condition is such that 
he is in no position to pay costs nor can he obtain legal 
aid 'for the retaining of his cause'; he asks for counsel 
to be assigned to him and in the meantime for 
payment of costs to be suspended. To this petition 
there is a note signed with the initials of Lord 
Chancellor Ellesmere: 'Let Mr. Stephens and Mr. 
Dyott be of his counsel as he desires'. 

Hidden's position had now become desperate; by 
forceful tactics of constant aggression Crosse had once 
again put him at a disadvantage. With the collapse of 
Hidden's suit, the way was clear for Crosse to proceed 
with his own. Would he be magnanimous in victory? 
In fact he was implacable. Having won costs and 
damages in one suit, he now pushed forward with his 
original Bill. As Hidden later described it, 'by his 
adversary's violent prosecution of accompte upon his 
advantage by the said second certificate [of Sir Francis 
Bacon] and by procuring your petitioner about this 
time to be outlawed upon an appeal of mayhem. . . 



and by your petitioner's poverty and want of means to 
defend himself, your petitioner hath not been able to 
this time to show himself how to secure any redress'. 
The four Commissioners who had been appointed 
seem to have felt, doubtless as a result of Bacon's 
certificates, prohibited from delving into the 
background of the matter, and although Hidden's 
attorneys clearly strove to bring forward evidence to 
substantiate the very points that Bacon had dismissed, 
it was to no avail. The main burden of the 
Commissioners' interrogatories was dedicated to 
discovering one simple item of fact (irrespective of 
motive or provocation): who on that second day of 
October set out to assault whom? Who drew the first 
weapon? Those questions were fatal for Hidden, 
Carrent, and Moggeridge. However hard their friends 
among the citizens of Salisbury might try to get them 
off the hook, however much public sympathy might 
seem to have sided with them, none of this was of 
avail against the clear evidence that Hidden had 
threatened to avenge himself against Crosse and that 
he and Carrent had set out with reckless bravado to do 
just that - only to fall into what seems at this distance 
of time to have been a carefully baited trap. Hidden's 
last appeal to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere was made on 
8 November 1613 when the Commissioners' report 
had been concluded and the defendants now awaited 
sentence. He urges once again that the matter of the 
bastinadoing or, as he puts it, 'of the certificates', 
might be considered 'and your petitioner himself may 
then be admitted to inform your Lordship touching 
the same proceeding to the end he may have such 
redress as shall seem fit.' Ellesmere scribbles on the 
petition: 'When the hearing shall be, if his counsel do 
attend it, they shall be heard what you think fit to 
speak on his behalf. 

Attorney Sherfield kept these documents and with 
them another dated 1 January 1614 which certifies 
that Leonard Moggeridge, Roger Hidden, and 
Edward Carrent, 'prisoners in the Fleet', have paid 
into court their fine of £300 plus £60 taxed to the 
plaintiff. A final brisk note from Ellesmere adds: 
'Upon this certificate let the three persons named have 
their liberty'. 

Here the case might seem to end, but before leaving 
it one is tempted to consider the validity of some of 
the evidence and how far this may reveal social or 
other loyalties. For instance, enquiries elicited that 
Leonard Moggeridge had bought a sword about a 
fortnight before the affray and that Hidden had 
borrowed a rapier, both from Thomas Brathwaite of 
Salisbury, cutler. It had since been returned, the 
cutler swore, 'without any hurt done to it'; and John 

Puxton deposed that he had seen Leonard 
Moggeridge returning home with his sword under his 
arm. These statements remind one of John Froud's 
deposition that his own sword was so rusty that it 
couldn't be drawn out of its scabbard. In short, the 
evidence of the citizens of Salisbury, particularly 
those of the artisan and mercantile community, in 
general leant towards Hidden, Carrent and 
Moggeridge; that which might be most damaging to 
the three young gentlemen mostly came from rural 
inhabitants, especially those from the West Dean area 
who seem to have picked up much of their 
information in the city's taverns. Robert Keale of 
Langford relates how, a fortnight before the affray, he 
went to the Angel Inn with George Crosse. Roger 
Hidden was there and 'railed' at George Crosse. 
Later, about 5 p.m. on the same day, Keale was in the 
Antelope. Roger Hidden, with Edward Carrent and 
Leonard Moggeridge, came in and made 'most fearful 
and horrible oaths that he would either pistol and 
shoot William Crosse or have him beaten down with a 
club and it should not be known who hurt him or by 
whom it was done' - a point of view which hardly 
coincides with the publicity actually given to the 
event! A fortnight before the affray, as Robert Keale 
reports, it is very likely that Hidden would have been 
seething with the indignity of the bastinadoing. But 
Crosse rounded up more evidence from the alehouses 
on the day itself; and very colourful some of it is! 

Thus Edmund Dennis of West Dean relates how at 
about 2 of the clock on the fateful day he met Hidden 
coming out of an alehouse, who asked him if he knew 
where William Crosse was, declaring that he would 
fight William Crosse 'wheresoever he did meet with 
him', adding that he [Hidden] 'had neither wife nor 
children to care for, neither had he anything to lose'. 
Then John Parsons, also of West Dean, describes how 
he met William Crosse's servant Daniel Cartwright in 
the market place, just as Edward Carrent came up, 
who invited them both to drink with him. They went 
into the Three Lions inn where Carrent 'so soon as he 
came into the room . . . drew forth his rapier and 
layed it down naked upon the table'. John Parsons 
being, as he describes himself, 'but a playne, simple 
fellow and seeing that rapier of Carrent lay naked 
upon the table, crept off towards the door and the said 
Carrent called him within and made him drink with 
him'. Parsons records Carrent as saying to Cartwright 
'Thou mayest do us a great deal of harm but I prithee 
let me interest thee that if thou wilt do us no good, do 
us no harm.' To which Cartwright is alleged to have 
replied '"I will never be a traitor to my master' 
meaning Captayne Crosse. 'Why then let it be as it 



may,' said Carrent 'for thou shalt have three or four 
swords drawn upon you presently'." 

This disparity between the 'city' and the 'country' 
witnesses raises an interesting point, as to how far it 
was due to the personalities involved in this particular 
case and how far there may have been more 
permanent underlying tensions between town and 
rural hinterland. A breakdown of the places of origin 
of the deponents shows that, in addition to Crosse 
himself who had bases in both West Dean and 
Hackney, three other witnesses are described as from 
Hackney, all of them his retainers; but two of the 
three quite certainly and probably the third were in 
fact living with him at the time in 'his' farm at West 
Dean. From West Dean also came Dennis and 
Parsons; other countrymen were Robert Keele of 
Langford, Robert Lawes of Hale, Simon Clifford of 
Boscombe and John Bowles of Boscombe. William 
Hill of Tidworth, Hampshire was not concerned with 
the events in Salisbury, but merely gave evidence 
concerning the card playing at Hungerford. Nicholas 
Huttofte who was a native of Salisbury was at the time 
employed in Dorset. For an affray within the city this 
is a largish list of 'outsiders', though their presence 
may be partially accounted for by its being a feast day. 

It is also noticeable that others who were connected 
with Crosse during the affray did not give evidence - 
for instance Thomas Ford. Ford's actual degree of 
disfigurement was thereby never put to the test; of the 
others, Carter, Gauntlett and Fisher just vanished, no 
doubt back to the metropolis. Daniel Cartwright, over 
whose head Crosse is reported to have broken his 
rapier in anger that he had been drinking with the 
defendants (Crosse left him in gaol when all his other 
followers were released on bail), also does not seem to 
have been called on to give evidence. Anthony 
Penruddock describes himself as of New Sarum, but 
the Penruddock family were country gentlemen of 
some standing. Robert Lawes, who was at the 
Antelope with Crosse, was servant to Sir Thomas 
Penruddock. Of the Salisbury deponents Crosse's 
supporters included the alehouse keeper John Provest 
and his lad Thomas Lawes (a relative, by the way, of 
Robert Lawes). Others, like Robert Oliver the 
surgeon who attended Ford's injuries, were neutral, 
as were the Goffes in whose shop George Crosse was 
being fitted for his frieze jerkin. 

Most of the other Salisbury deponents or persons 
involved seem likely to have been Hidden supporters 
and were mainly local tradesmen, many of them 

prominent in civic or church life: Richard Barrett 
(saddler), John Barrowe (grocer), George Beach 
(saddler), Thomas Brathwaite (cutler), Robert Cecil 
(saddler), William Daniel (householder), Thomas 
Holton (spurrier), John Hulett (tailor), John 
Hutchins (tailor), Gilbert Jackson (weaver), William 
Jordan (shoemaker), Richard Locke (barber), 
Richard Moore (yeoman), Edward Morgan 
(haberdasher), Christopher Morris (surgeon), Ralph 
Neale (barber surgeon), James Newman (yeoman), 
Robert Norwell (brewer), John Pierson (farrier), John 
Puxton (attorney), John Ivie (goldsmith), William 
Ray (innkeeper), John Saunders (linen draper), 
Anthony Talbot (surgeon), John Vyning (woollen 
draper) and Edmund Watson (tailor). 

With only one 'gent' amongst them (attorney 
Puxton), they stand in remarkable social contrast to 
the esquire, gents, yeomen and other landowners of 
the Crosse party. May there be foreshadowed here 
signs of the beginning of that later struggle which so 
often separated city merchants and tradesmen into 
Puritans and country landowners into Royalists? The 
name Sherfield on one of the sidelines and of 
Penruddock on the other perhaps leads to such 

It is true that Moggeridge, Carrent, and Hidden 
also belonged by birth and breeding to the gentry 
class. Hidden was related to Carrent and Carrent was 
closely related to Moggeridge. They were young and 
they were hot-headed. What then made their personal 
quarrel with William Crosse develop into an affray 
which involved so many worthy Salisbury citizens? 
For those who took part were not city riff-raff but 
included leading churchgoers, tradesmen and 
councillors. What made the tradesmen citizens of 
Salisbury stretch all of their powers to side with three 
hot-headed gentlemen of leisure? 

One answer may be that each of the three had 
family roots in the city. Thus all three families 
worshipped at the same church of St Edmund, 
holding their own pew seats there. 12 And Hidden in 
particular, through his step-father Robert Roberts the 
grocer, had acquired a fortuitous link with the 
burgher class. Roberts was a long time vestryman and 
had been Churchwarden in 1608 and 1609. And from 
St Edmunds came nearly all the other defendents as 
well as a great many of the deponents. 

Of the other defendants George Beach was to 
become Churchwarden in 1615, and John Ivie in 
1618. William Daniells was another St Edmund's 

12 H.J.F. Swayne, Churchwardens' Accounts of S. Edward & S. 
Thomas, Sarum... Salisbury, 1896. 



activist. George Churchouse, who came into the case 
more or less accidentally, alone breaks the pattern by 
being an attender at the church of St Thomas. The 
remaining co-defendant John Froud lived out of town 
in the service of Sir William Webb, a wealthy wool 
merchant and one reckoned to be 'a stiff Puritan'. 13 It 
has been shown elsewhere that the vestry of St 
Edmund's formed a close-knit, highly political group, 
Puritanical in their leanings, who were particularly 
dominant in the city's political life in the mid 1620s 
and 1630s. 14 This affair of the affray, shows that the 
same spirit existed in 1610 and involved many of the 
same personages before they became as well known as 
they were later. 

That there was a general tension in the air of some 
kind in 1610 is obvious. The deposition of William 
Crosse testifies to - or plays upon - the fears of social 
unrest which the day's events had unleashed. The city 
crowd's treatment of Crosse, Clifford and Pen- 
ruddock showed their mood towards these 'gentry'. 
Seeing the three gentlemen trying to leave the inn, 
they had according to Crosse, 

in very riotous, furious and outrageous manner 
drawn their weapons, crying down with them, 
down with them, kill them, kill them. With 
which their outcries and their shrieks they raised 
in a manner the whole town. . . . and then and 
there with their said weapons assaulted and sett 
upon your said subject and the said Simon 
Clifford and Anthony Penruddock and did beat 
and strike him the said Anthony in such 
barbarous and cruell manner that they felled him 
to the ground and trampled and troade him 
under their feet. 

This assault drove Crosse back into the Antelope for 
safety, where Crosse locked himself into his chamber. 
Crosse continues with his account of how William 

being personallie aided and abetted with a 
multitude of base and loose people armed and 
weaponed with all sorts of weapons did then and 
there with many horrible and execrable oaths and 
observations vowe and protest and threaten that 
unless your said subject would come down out of 
the said chamber and yield himself . . . that then 
he the said William Daniel and his associates so 

assembled with him would beat and fire down the 

There is no doubt that such large scale unrest, 
whatever its origin, would have alarmed the 
wealthiest and socially most dominant groups, even 
though it had not alarmed the constables and Mayor 
who were much closer to the event. None of the local 
Commissioners who finally inquired into the case, 
however, could have felt easy at such goings on. 

What the Commissioners may not have known was 
that William Crosse was up to his ears in law suits of 
one sort or another. In the same year that he sued 
Hidden in one court he was himself being sued by his 
own father William Crosse senior in another. His suit 
was that the farm at West Dean, profits from which 
were intended for the benefit of Crosse's sister 
Margaret when she married William Stanesby, had 
been ingeniously converted by skilful legal practices 
from Margaret and her husband into the property and 
residence of William Crosse and his wife Thomasin. 15 

In his Bill William Crosse senior, the father, 
describes how at some time late in 1606 Stanesby 
entered into an arrangement with William Crosse 
junior to assist him to obtain Margaret's hand in 
marriage. Margaret who was then 'of tender years' 
(i.e. under age) was not impressed by Stanesby, 
knowing him 'to be a young man of weak 
understanding and much insufficiency in the ordering 
of his estate'. William Crosse however worked on his 
father and his sister so as to bring about the marriage, 
being as his father bitterly deposes 'more greedy of his 
[illegible words in MS] than his blood'. For William 
Crosse, junior, finding Stanesby to be 'a very simple 
man' had persuaded him to sign the lease over to 
himself for four years, promising to act as trustee on 
Margaret's behalf to ensure that, as Stanesby puts it, 
'four years' profits of the farm should remain in the 
hands and custody of William Crosse as a dower and 
jointure for Margaret'. Stanesby now found himself 
paying rent for his own wife's farm. When Stanesby 
fell behind with his rent, Crosse made a new deal with 
him by which he secured in place of the four-year 
lease in trust, an unconditional lease of thirty-one 
years in his own favour. 

This unconditional lease having been obtained, 
Crosse began to put pressure on Stanesby 'to ■ use 
Margaret very hardly'. This Stanesby, Crosse and the 
latter's wife Thomasin proceeded to do, all treating 

13 Rachel Lloyd, Elizabethan Adventurer, London, 1974, p. 175. 

14 Paul Slack, 'Poverty & Politics in Salisbury 1597-1666', in Crisis 
and Order in English Towns 1500-1700, edited by Peter Clark 

and Paul Slack, London, 1972. 
15 PRO: C2/Jas I/C9/57. 



Margaret harshly so as to drive her out of the farm and 
thus invalidate her rights altogether. 'All which 
Margaret long time endured [blank in MS] last past at 
which time Margaret being very weak and sickly 
complained to [Thomasin] for if she might not have 
one there to attend her in her sickness [MS blank 
here] to depart the house, but was told that if she did 
so she should never come thence again. . . . whereup- 
on Margaret got one to go with her and repaired to the 
house of her father at Grately, Hants.' From there 
(Stanesby threatening to burn her parents' house 
down) she went to Westminster where she stayed for a 
month with some friends 'of decent and honest sort', 
then returning to her parents. In his answer to all this 
Stanesby alleged that, although he sent a man after 
her to her parents when she first left the farm, she 
refused to return and 'presently went away with one 
Joyner to London, from whose company this 
defendant before that time had forewarned her and at 
London they did cohabit together pretending that 
they would presently be married; but by the death of 
the said Joyner she was prevented'. 

That Margaret must have been desperately 
unhappy there can be no doubt. Through the 
weakness of her husband, the farm and farmhouse at 
West Dean had become the possessions of her 
brother, who could manipulate her husband in 
whatever way he wished, and the mistress in the 
farmhouse was no longer herself but her brother's 
wife Thomasin. Did her concern for her parents and 
what the idiotic Stanesby in league with her brother 
and his band of toughs might do decide her to 
recuperate with friends in London? Or did she have a 
lover to whom she turned from a husband whom she 
had not loved in the first instance and who now 
sickened her? 

From the point of view of the Hidden v. Crosse case 
the answers to these questions are of obvious 
significance, since Stanesby had testified in that suit 
that Margaret had been taken to London by Roger 
Hidden. But here, in another suit, held in another 
court, both he and William Crosse junior agree (some 
six months before the affray) that Margaret went away 
to London with John Joyner! One fact, however, is 
crystal clear, that if William Crosse and William 
Stanesby were speaking the truth in one case, they 
could not have been speaking the truth in the other. 
The contradiction is so blatant that one hesitates to 
place credence in them on any other matter. 

It would be tedious to go into further cases which 
involve Crosse's chicanery or Stanesby's stupidity, 
though there are two such others. In one case 
Stanesby was induced by Crosse to sue Sir Thomas 
Gorges, and in another Crosse and Stanesby sued 
Stanesby's own father. 16 These various suits, in one of 
them a father fighting to save his daughter's jointure 
from the schemes of her brother, and in another a 
father fighting to save his son as well as himself from 
the same William Crosse, provide in their light on the 
character, skills, and personality of William Crosse, 
essential background to a study of the quarrel which 
led to the great affray in Salisbury on the feast of St 
Edmund in the year 1610. They also may suggest that 
the local citizenry who entered upon the affray had 
not only a sense of solidarity in a matter which at first 
sight may seem to have touched them only 
peripherally, but also that they had an understanding 
of character and a fierce sense of justice and injustice. 

A number of incidental references to persons in this 
drama have been found which may help to round off 
the story. George Churchouse, one of the constables 
who arrested Crosse, was the very next year (1611) 
appointed by his fellow-citizens Assistant 
Chamberlain of the city and in 1612 became the city's 
standing Chamberlain. 17 In 1618 he was Mayor. 
George Beach also suffered no disfavour for his part in 
the affair, his fellow citizens' trust and confidence in 
him reflecting itself in his appointment as an 
Assistant, i.e. nominated member of the City 
Council. 18 The papers of Henry Sherfield contain 
many letters from, and references to, him during the 
early 1620s when Sherfield was both M.P. and 
Recorder, and these suggest that Beach was a trusted 
confidant of Sherfield. 19 John Ivie was elected an 
Assistant in 1616, was an Alderman by 1623, and 
became Mayor in 1627 when his courage, 
commonsense, and devotion to duty during the 
plague year made him a legend whose fame still lasts. 
In 1626 John Puxton joined Henry Sherfield as M.P. 
for Salisbury. Sir Francis Bacon, who wrote those 
certificates so damaging to Roger Hidden's case, 
became Lord Chancellor. In 1621 he was charged by 
the House of Lords with accepting bribes in office, 
confessed, and was condemned. 

Edward Carrent married in St Edmund's church; 
and Leonard Moggeridge who had married Carrent's 
sister Susanna was buried there on 25 March 1617 and 
Susanna herself on April 5 1617, their youth and the 

16 PRO: C3/289/69; C2/]asI/S34/6. 

17 Wilts RO: G23/1/3 f.215v, 226. 

18 ibid. G23/1/3 f.226v. 

19 Hants RO: Jervoise of Hemard collection 44M69L30/62, 65, 68; 



proximity of their deaths suggesting that they may 
have been victims of pestilence or other sudden 
illness. Roger Hidden's mother, Ann Roberts, was 
buried in St Edmund's church on 18 December 
1615. 20 The strain of her son's long drawn-out case 
may have hastened her end. Robert Roberts signed 
the St Edmund's vestry book in 1617, attended the 
meetings of the City Council as an Assistant (a post he 
held for many years) until 1624, and he disappears 
from the records after 1625. 21 For him too these last 
years may not have been as happy as those earlier in 
the century when he had married the widow Hidden 
and become step-father to her three children. 

What happened to William Crosse's supporters is 
less certain; but in 1619 'an old soldier Anthony 
Carter who had served many years in Ireland and the 
Low Countries petitioned for an increase in his 
pension'. 22 And the Middlesex records give us a small 
item concerning Thomas Ford: 'Thomas Forde, 
servant to William Crosse of Hackney, appeared 
before the court for hurting Joan Richardson, and was 
discharged'. 23 

One further reference reveals William Crosse of 
Hackney as Justice of the Peace in 1620. He had 
drawn up a 'true Bill' of complaint against one of the 
local constables 'who obstinately refused to execute a 
certain warrant' which Crosse and a fellow Justice had 
directed to him, ordering the public flogging of a 
couple who had 'lived together in incontinencie'. It is 
to be presumed that the constable's recalcitrance arose 
from the monstrous nature of the sentence: the couple 
were to be bound to a cart, stripped naked from the 
waist up, and then to be whipped throughout the 
town, 'to begin ... in Homerton and so drive them 
by the church through Church Street and so through 
Mare Street to the further end thereof until they 
reached the extremity of the town where there were 
no more houses or inhabitants to witness the 
whipping. All this was done, according to the bill, lest 
the circumstances of their adultery 'might justly pluck 
down vengeance from the highest upon the heads of 
such as having (in this case) power to correct yet 
would be hoodwinked through connivance, that their 
spirits might be safe, and for example that the rest 
might fear'. 24 

William Crosse's burial is recorded in the parish 
register of St John at Hackney on 27 July 1625: 

'Captain William Cros was buried'; and in the margin: 
'Church, ye bell'. The two pages amid which this 
entry occurs are all of plague victims; July 1625 was a 
terrible month and year for those who dwelt in 
Hackney. Two years later in more normal 
circumstances, the register states: '28 August 1627. 
Mr. George Cros brother to Captaine William Cros 
deceased and was buried in the South He of the 
church the 29th'; and in the margin: '5 bells'. There is 
no record of Stanesby; and the supposition must be 
that William Crosse left West Dean and returned to 
Hackney with his brother George and his wife 
Thomasin. Thomasin continued to live there after his 
death, the Lay Subsidy for Hackney in 1629 listing a 
'Thomasin Crosse widow' in 'Mayre Street'. 25 

Of Roger Hidden or Heddinge (as he always signed 
himself in a more fashionable spelling) there is silence 
from the day that he walked out of the Fleet prison in 
1614 until 1635 when he deposed in a Chancery case. 
By this time he was 49 years of age, employed as 
confidential secretary, to use a modern term, to Sir 
Matthew Carew of Cockthorpe, Oxon, son of a former 
Master in the Court of Chancery. Hidden testifies that 
he had been employed by him 'off and on at times any 
time these 18 years'. 26 A few years later, in 1640, he 
is said to have taken part in the Earl of 
Northumberland's northern campaign against the 
Scots, serving as Lieutenant under Lt. Col. Sir 
Matthew Carey [Carew]. 27 Carew took the Royalist 
side in the Civil War, was in command of the garrison 
at Tewkesbury, but escaped when the town fell to the 
Roundheads in April 1643. Whether Roger Hidden 
was still serving under him is not known. He would 
by then have been 58; the days of his sword play are 
likely to have been over, and the riotous affray at 
Salisbury but a distant memory of past youth, a 
doubtless golden age before Civil War and much 
greater quarrels had engulfed the nation. 

Acknowledgement: The author is grateful to Mr J. T. L. Jervoise for 
permission to consult papers from the Jervoise of Herriard collection 
deposited in the Hampshire Record Office. 


Richard ashby mentioned in George Beach's deposition. 

20 Wilts RO: 1901/1; Swayne, op. at. 

21 Wilts RO: G23/1/3 f.316v. 

22 Historical Manuscripts Commission Various collections, vol. 1 
(1901), p. 91. 

23 W. Le Hardy, (ed.), Middlesex Sessions Records (N.S.) vol. 1, 
(1935), p. 78. 

24 J.C. Jeaffreson (ed.), Middlesex County Records (O.S.) vol, 2 
(1974), pp. 157-8. 

25 PRO: E179/142/308. 

26 PRO: C24/608/Pt. 1 fo.89. 

27 Edward Peacock, Army List of Roundheads and Cavaliers 1642, 
2nd ed., London, 1874, appendix 1, p. 88. 



RICHARD Barrett deponent. Of New Sarum, saddler, aged 

JOHN barrowe deposes twice. Of New Sarum, grocer, aged 

MR baynton mentioned in Carrent's deposition. His house 

was visited by Moggeridge and Carrent on 2 October. 
GEORGE beach defendant. Answers to Bill, and deposes. Of 

New Sarum, saddler, aged 40. Constable. 
JOHN BOWLES deponent. Of Boscombe, Wilts., gent aged 45. 
THOMAS brathwaite deponent. Mentioned in John Parson's 

deposition. Of New Sarum, cutler, aged 36. Supplied 

sword to Carrent. 
anthony carter mentioned in Roger Hidden's Answer and 

in various depositions. An ex-soldier. 
daniel CARTWRIGHT mentioned in various depositions and 

in Hidden's Answer. Servant of William Crosse, who 

broke a rapier over his head and left him in gaol for 

drinking with the defendants. 
Robert CECIL deponent. Of New Sarum, saddler, aged 34. 
George CHURCHOUSE defendant. Mentioned in Beach's 

deposition. Constable. 
simon Clifford mentioned in Bill and deposes. Of 

Boscombe, Wilts., esq., aged 43. 
George CROSSE mentioned in Bill and in various depositions. 

Of Hackney, gent, aged 27, brother of William Crosse. 
Margaret CROSSE of West Dean, sister of William Crosse, 

married William Stanesby. Accused of infidelity by him. 
THOMAS CROSSE deponent. Of Grately, Hants, husbandman, 

aged 33, brother of William Crosse. 
thomasin CROSSE wife of William Crosse. Mentioned in 

depositions of Stanesby and Provest. 
WILLIAM DANIEL defendant. Makes Answer to Bill; in 

Beach's deposition. Of New Sarum, householder. 
edmund DENNIS deponent. Of West Dean, yeoman, aged 

MR earton mentioned in Robert Smith's deposition. 

Offered bail for William Crosse. 
Robert EDMONDS mentioned in Carrent's deposition. Of 

Stratford-sub-Castle. Gave Roger Hidden refuge. 
thomas eyre mentioned in George Beach's Answer and 

depositions and in the Bill. Mayor, August 1610 (on death 

of Richard Gauntlett). 
Matthew figg defendant named in the Bill; nothing known. 

— fisher mentioned in Roger Hidden's Answer and in John 
Saunder's deposition. Fought for William Crosse: 'A 
Loose fellow lately come out of Ireland'. 

JOHN ford mentioned in Roger Hidden's Answer. Relative 

of Thomas Ford. 
thomas ford mentioned in Bill, Answers etc. William 

Crosse's servant; received facial injuries in affray. 
JOHN froude defendant, tailor and servant to Sir William 


— FURSE mentioned in Huttofte's deposition. Of New 

Christopher gauntlett mentioned in Hidden's Answer 
and in various depositions. 'Hath lived very idly and 
loosely and hath no certain place of abode.' 

Elizabeth GOFFE deponent. Of New Sarum; wife of Richard 

— Goffe. 

RICHARD goffe deponent. Tailor at the Lamb in Catherine 
Street aged 40. 

— GREENEY mentioned in Hidden's deposition; no details. 
widow HARRIS mentioned in John Hulett's deposition. 

Lived in High Street. 

William hill deponent. South Tidworth, Hants, yeoman, 

aged 28. 
Robert holmes mentioned in George Crosse's deposition. 

thomas HOLTON deponent. Of New Sarum, spurrier, aged 

Laurence HORNE mentioned in Anthony Penruddock's 

JOHN hulett deponent. Of New Sarum, tailor, aged 50. 
JOHN HUTCHINS deponent. Of New Sarum, tailor, aged 40. 
NICHOLAS HUTTOFTE deponent. Of Motcombe, Dorset, 

yeoman, aged 50; worked for Sir William Webb 
JOHN ivie defendant, of New Sarum, goldsmith, son-in-law 

of John Puxton. 
gilbert jackson deponent. Of New Sarum, weaver, aged 

William Jordan deponent. Of New Sarum, shoemaker, 

aged 30. 
Robert keele deponent. Of Langford, Wilts., gent, aged 

Robert lawes deposes three times. Of Hale, Hants, 

yeoman, aged 44. Manservant to Sir Thomas Pen- 
thomas lawes deponent. Of New Sarum, vintner, aged 20; 

worked at the Antelope; relative of Robert. 
RICHARD LOCKE deponent. Of New Sarum, barber, aged 30. 
thomas merivale mentioned in deposition of Anthony 

Penruddock. No further details. 
MR moggeridge mentioned in George Beach's depositon. 

Was John Moggeridge, father of Leonard 
Richard moore deponent. Of New Sarum, yeoman, aged 

Edward morgan deponent. Of New Sarum, haberdasher, 

aged 34. Kept shop opposite the Antelope. 
Christopher morris deponent. Of New Sarum, surgeon, 

aged 34. 
RALPH neale deponent. Barber surgeon, aged 24. Worked 

for Will Senior in New Sarum. 
james NEWMAN als everid deponent. Of New Sarum, 

yeoman, aged 50. 
ROBERT norwell deponent. Of New Sarum, brewer, aged 

ROBERT Oliver deponent. Of New Sarum, surgeon, aged 40. 
joachim parker mentioned in Robert Smith's deposition. 

Involved in the custody of William Crosse. 
JOHN parsons deponent. Of West Dean, husbandman, aged 

anthony penruddock deposes twice; mentioned in depos- 
itions of Simon Clifford and Answer of John Ivie. Of New 

Sarum, gent, aged 25. 
JOHN pierson deponent. Of New Sarum, farrier, aged 35. 

Lived in Catherine Street. 
JOHN provest deposes twice; mentioned in Bill. Of New 

Sarum, innholder, aged 71. 
JOHN puxton deposes twice; mentioned in depositions of 

George Beach and George Crosse. Of New Sarum, 

attorney, aged 58. Neighbour of Robert Roberts. Father- 
in-law of John Ivie. 
MRS puxton mentioned in George Beach's deposition. Wife 

of John Puxton. 
WILLIAM RAY mentioned in Roger Hidden's and Beach's 

depositions. Innkeeper of White Bear. 
Robert ROBERTS mentioned in Roger Hidden's Answer and 

several depositions. Roger's step-father. 



JOHN SAUNDERS deponent. Of New Sarum, linen draper, 
aged 40. 

WILLIAM senior mentioned in deposition of Ralph Neale. Of 
New Sarum, barber. Neighbour of Puxton. 

WILLIAM SHARPE deponent. Of Wilton, Wilts, gent, aged 37. 

RICHARD SIDNAM mentioned in John Bowles' deposition. 

ROBERT SMITH deponent. Of Hackney, clerk, aged 55. 

WILLIAM STANSBY deponent. Of Hackney, gent, aged 26. 
Brother-in-law of William Crosse. 

MR stockman mentioned in Robert Smith's deposition. 
Stood bail for William Crosse. 

anthony TALBOT deponent. Of New Sarum, surgeon, aged 

GILES TUCKER iTOOKER) mentioned in depositions of Simon 
Clifford and George Crosse. Justice of the Peace. 

Alexander tutt deponent; mentioned in Robert Smith's 
deposition. Of New Sarum, esq., aged 24. Stood bail for 
William Crosse. 

JOHN VYN1NG deponent. Of New Sarum, woollen draper. 
Aged 35. 

edmond WATSON deponent. Of New Sarum, tailor. Aged 50. 

sir William webb mentioned in Nicholas Huttofte's depos- 
ition. Of Motcombe, Dorset. Master of John Froud. 

JOHN willoughby mentioned in Simon Clifford's depos- 

MR yerburie mentioned in Alexander Tutt's deposition. 
Card-playing against Geo. Crosse at Hungerford, 1610. 

JOHN young, jun. mentioned in John Bowles' deposition. 


THOMAS G BARNES, 'Fines in the High Court of the Star 

Chamber', T/s University of California, U.S.A., 1971 
J.H. CHANDLER, Endless Street: A History of Salisbury & Its 

People, Salisbury, 1983 
PETER CLARK & PAUL SLACK, Crisis & Order in English Towns 

1500-1700, London, 1972 
ELIZABETH CRITTALL (ed.), Victoria History of Wiltshire, vol. 

6, 1962 

B. HOWARD CUNNINGTON (ed.), Records of the County of Wilts, 
Extracts from the Quarter Sessions Great Rolls of the 17th. 
Century, 1932 

w. Le hardy (ed.), Middlesex Sessions Records (New Series), 
vol 1, 1935 

C. HASKINS (ed.), The Ancient Trade Guilds & Companies of 
Salisbury, Salisbury, 1916 

J.C. JEAFFRESON (ed. ), Middlesex Countv Records (Old Series), 

vol. 2, 1974 
RACHEL LLOYD, Elizabethan Adventurer, London, 1971 
EDWARD PEACOCK, Army List of Roundheads and Cavaliers, 

1642, 2nd. ed., London, 1874 
H.j.F. swayne, Churchivardens Accounts ofS. Edward & S. 

Thomas, Salisbury, 1896 

D. UNDERDOWN, Revel, Riot and Rebellion 1603-1660, 
Oxford, 1985 

in various collections, vol. 1, 1901 

Wiltshire Archaeologcial and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 115-141. 

The Diary of Thomas Smith of Shaw, 1715-23 


The diary of an early eighteenth century squire sheds light on the interrelationship of several ex-clothier families in 
Wiltshire and Somerset, and on their everyday life. Confusion caused by nineteenth century editing has first to be 

When Thomas Smith, of Shaw House near 
Melksham, died in 1723, in his fiftieth year, he left a 
voluminous diary, covering the greater part of the 
years from 1715 to his death. The diary, in his own 
firm handwriting, covers 268 sides of foolscap (Figure 
1). It is now among the records deposited in the 
Wiltshire Record Office by Captain A. P. Francis. 1 It 
must be admitted that a reader who expects to find in 
it Samuel Pepys's dramatic sidelights on great events 
or Parson Woodforde's loving chronicle of daily 
dinners will be disappointed. Thomas Smith con- 
scientiously records the names of people he met, but 
seldom anything that they said; and the details of his 
daily life, which would fascinate the modern reader, 
are too often hidden behind the drab curtain of entries 
such as 'at home privately the whole Day' (e.g. 30 
November 1715). On the other hand, Smith's diary 
has the authenticity and immediacy of a chronicle 
written day by day and for his own perusal rather than 
with half an eye on publication; 2 and, if read against 
the background of the times, it can give interesting 
insights into the life of a country squire in the reign of 
George I. 

The diary was known to the illustrious Wiltshire 
antiquary Canon J.E. Jackson, who transcribed and 

edited extracts from it for the Wiltshire Archaeological 
Magazine in 1869; 3 and in 1906 this extract was 
reproduced, with additional annotations, in a pri- 
vately printed book about the Neale family. 4 Unfor- 
tunately, as a perusal of the manuscript quickly 
shows, Canon Jackson had before him only ninety- 
two pages (about one third) of the manuscript, limited 
to part of the last two years (1722-23), and he was 
clearly unaware of the existence of the bulk of the 
diary, covering the years 1715-22. The value of his 
transcript is further diminished by two editorial 
blunders. First, he failed to notice that the manu- 
script (as explained below) had been sewn together in 
such a way that the pages were not always in the 
correct order. Secondly, he forgot that until 1752 it 
was customary to reckon the year as starting on 25 
March, so that when, for instance, the diarist writes 
'28th February 1721' he means what we should call 28 
February 1722. This leads Jackson into absurdities in 
his transcript, such as 'Monday Jan. 1st 1722' being 
followed a few lines later by 'Tuesday Jan. 1st 1722' 
(WAM 11, 205-6), or 'Tuesday 10th April' followed 
immediately by 'Tuesday 25th April' (WAM 11, 90). 5 
The aim of the present article is twofold: first, to 
sort out the confusion left by the 1869 article and the 

1 WRO 161/170. 

2 On 23 July 1722 he mentions that it is his habit to note down the 
previous day's events as his first task each morning. 

3 WAM 11, pp. 82-105, 204-17, 308-15. The author's name is not 
given; but a manuscript letter of 1863 in the WRO deposit and 
manuscript marginal notes on the diary leave no doubt that Canon 
Jackson was the editor. A reprint of the WAM article was also 
produced, with the pages numbered 5-45, and a copy is in the 
WRO deposit. A bound copy of the original WAM pages, inter- 
leaved and annotated in neat handwriting (anonymous) is in the 
WANHS Library. Correspondence of 1857-68 in the Jackson 
Papers (Soc. Antiquaries, s.v. Melksham) shows that the MS was 
sent by Audley Lovell of Cole Park to Canon Jackson, and by him 
to the Revd Edward Wilton and to Mr (? William) Cunnington, 
who considered publishing it. There is, however, no indication of 

the extent of the MS seen by them. 

J. A. Neale, Charters mid Records of Neates of Berkeley, Yale, and 
Corsliam, privately printed, 1906; with Supplement, 1927, and 
Further Addenda, 1929, etc; hereafter cited as 'Neale'; copies are in 
WANHS Library, WRO, and Libraries of the Wilts. Library and 
Museum Service. 

'Monday Jan. 1st 1722' is chronologically correct, but the '1722' is 
not in the diarist's hand, and must have been added later, probably 
by Jackson; 'Tuesday Jan. 1st 1722' refers to new-style 1723, and so 
should have been printed later in the diary. 'Tuesday 10th April' 
and 'Tuesday 25th April' are correcdy transcribed, but could not, 
of course, belong to the same year, a fact which should have alerted 
Jackson to a displacement in the sewn MS: actually '10th April' 
belongs to 1722, '25th April' to 1721. 




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Figure 1. Thomas Smith's diary: a typical page, covering the period 3-10 April 1719 



eccentric sewing together of the manuscript sheets; 
secondly, to fill out the picture of Thomas Smith, his 
circle, and his daily life, in the hope that these will be 
of interest in themselves and also shed light on various 
features of life in the early eighteenth century. 


For his manuscript the diarist generally used loose 
sheets of 'sermon paper', each sheet being folded once 
to make four consecutive sides of writing. 6 He wrote 
each day's date in as he went along, normally giving 
just the days of the week and date in the month (e.g. 
'Thursday 31st'), but invariably adding the name of 
the month on its first day, and the year-date also at the 
beginning of each fresh folded sheet, i.e. for the first 
entry in each section of four sides. There can there- 
fore be no doubt as to the dates covered by the entries 
on any given sheet, and no difficulty in determining 
their chronological sequence. Unfortunately, at some 
time subsequent to the writing of the diary, the sheets 
were sewn together at the spine, and in this process 
six sections (ranging from two to four units) were 
sewn into incorrect places in the chronological 
sequence. In addition, there are three minor transpo- 
sitions, of a single side, made by the diarist himself, 
where for some reason he has gone on from side 1 of a 
sheet to side 3 or 4 and then returned to use the blank 
side or sides of his sheet, indicating the transposition 
by crosses, and in one case also by a marginal note (see 
7 March - 11 April 1716; 15 July- 13 August 1716; 31 
October- 14 December 1717). 7 Two of the misplaced 
sections occur in the portion of the diary known to 
Canon Jackson, and it is particularly unlucky that 
they include both the beginning and the end of his 
WAM transcript, so that his account of the period 
covered is wrong at both ends. 8 

The erroneous order of the sewn-up manuscript has 
thus led to serious confusion in the WAM extract and 
its reprints; it must also have misled many readers 
who have consulted the manuscript in the Record 
Office since its deposit there. The County Archivist 
has therefore, in December 1987, had the thread 
removed by which the sheets had been held together, 
and they have been restored to the order in which the 

diarist wrote them, i.e. chronological order except for 
the single-side deviations mentioned above. However, 
in order to simplify cross-reference to the extracts in 
WAM 11 and its reprints, the archivist has had a 
photo-copy made, in which each side of manuscript 
appears on a separate sheet, and these sheets are 
numbered on the front in chronological order and on 
the back in the order in which they were sewn 
together (the latter series of numbers being prefixed 
by the letter S). The availability of this photo-copy in 
the Record Office has the additional advantages of 
making the diary more accessible to readers and 
saving wear and tear on the somewhat frail sheets of 
the original. 

In the present article all quotations and references 
are made by using the relevant date or dates in the 
diary, which avoids the need to use page-references; 
but anyone wishing to compare something in the 
WAM 1 1 extract with the original manuscript may be 
helped by the table given below as Appendix I. 

There remains the problem of seven gaps in the 
sequence of the diary as we have it today, ranging in 
length from three weeks to over four months, and 
scattered over the years covered by the diary: were 
some or all of these gaps caused by sheets of the 
manuscript being lost, or do they represent periods 
when the diary was interrupted? One cannot be sure, 
but internal evidence strongly suggests the former 
explanation. The diarist nowhere refers to any inter- 
mission in his record; the side preceding every gap is 
fully entered (as indeed is every one of the 268 written 
sides); the gap starting 22 July 1718 is preceded by a 
single sheet, and it is clear that the other half of this 
'sermon sheet' has been torn off; and at the foot of the 
side ending 12 October 1720 (which is followed by a 
gap) three lines of a diary entry for 13 October have 
been crossed out, suggesting that Smith re- wrote 
them at the head of the next sheet, now missing. The 
positions and duration of the gaps have been indicated 
by sheets inserted into the WRO photo-copy, and are 
summarized in Appendix II below. 

In the present article all year-dates are given in 'new 
style', which has meant altering quotations or referen- 
ces to any year-dates in the diary falling in the period 
1 January to 24 March from the 'old style' dates used 

6 There is no interleaving to make sections of more than four sides. 
Units of two sides occur at two points: from 7 February to 6 March 
1716 he seems to have used two single sheets; and from 7 to 21 July 
1718 the second half of the 4-side sheet has been torn off. 

7 On sheet 3 of the diary, and there only, sides 2 and 4 have been left 
blank. It should perhaps be added that some of the sewn sheets had 
later worked loose, but there is no reason to believe that anyone had 
changed their order, and I feel justified in assuming that the order 

preserved in the WRO deposit till 1987 remained that in which they 
had been sewn together: this was certainly the order known to 
Jackson when he edited the work in the 1860s. 
8 Given as 'February 28th 1721' to 'end of the year 1722', it should 
be '25 April 1721 to 24 March 1723'. He also failed to notice that 
his transcnpt omits the period 5 January to 27 February 1722, 
which was included in earlier sheets not available to him. 



by the diarist: for example, the diarist's 'January 1st 
1716' would be quoted as '1 January 1717'. Where the 
diary has been quoted I have kept the author's 
spelling and use of capitals, but have not usually 
reproduced his abbreviations, and have sometimes 
inserted additional punctuation marks to make the 
sense clear. 


Thomas Smith the diarist was born at Frome (known 
then as Frome Zellwood) in 1674. His grandfather, 
Robert Smith, and his father, Thomas Smith, were 
both prosperous clothiers in that Somerset town. The 
grandfather, who had married Anne, daughter of 
Robert Nicholas of Roundway (near Devizes), 9 had 
followed a common pattern of the time by using some 
of the proceeds of his trade to buy landed property, 
and in 1654 had acquired Norwood Park, near Glas- 
tonbury. His son Thomas, the diarist's father, had 
also married well and acquired more real estate. His 
wife was Elizabeth Chaloner of Ramsbury, and in 
their marriage settlement of December 1666 the land 
which he settled on her included estates of about 200 
acres at Bollow and Frigle Street, near Frome. 10 He 
had also acquired the Dorset manor of Toller Wylme 
and Catscliffe, near Croscombe (1664)" and the 
Shropshire 'rectory or parsonage impropriate' of Kin- 
nerley (1671). u 

The peaceful transformation of this Somerset dyn- 
asty of clothiers into land-owning gentry was rudely 
interrupted in November 1674, when Thomas Smith 
the elder died, leaving his widow with two young 
children, Ann, aged about seven, and Thomas, his 
son and heir, still only a five-month old baby. 13 In his 
will 14 the elder Thomas entrusted the 'care and 
tuition and education' of his two young children to a 

friend called John Lungworth or to such others as the 
friend should think fit. The immediate sequel is 
obscure, but we can pick up the story in 1688, when 
an action in Chancery led to Thomas Smith (by then 
aged 14) being removed from the guardianship of Mr 
Gifford Yerbury, who was replaced by Isaac Selfe. 15 
Selfe's counsel accused Yerbury of not sending the 
boy to school according to the Court's direction, and 
the Court, giving judgement for Selfe, instructed him 
to put Thomas to school at Eton or Westminster, 
giving Selfe a reasonable allowance for custody and 
leave to appoint an agent to collect the rents from the 
scattered estates. In spite of this judgement, Thomas 
Smith was not sent to school at Eton or West- 
minster, 16 but to Marlborough Grammar School (see 
p. 128 below). 

The Isaac Selfe who thus acted as Thomas Smith's 
guardian until he was formally relieved of the respon- 
sibility in 1696 17 was a member of another prosperous 
clothier family, owning property in Melksham and 
Beanacre. Since 1685 he had also been Thomas 
Smith's brother-in-law, having in that year married 
Thomas's sister Ann, 18 and they remained life-long 
friends. The diary habitually refers to him as 'Brother 
Selfe'. Isaac Selfe's grandfather of the same name had 
leased Beanacre Manor from the Brounckers in 1620, 
and old Isaac's son Jacob had bought the property in 
1647. 19 It was therefore at Beanacre Manor, just 
outside Melksham, that Smith's guardian and 
brother-in-law was living when he came of age in 
1695, though by that time Ann had died and Isaac 
Selfe had married his second wife, Penelope Lucas, 
by whom he had six children. After her death in 1702, 
he married, as his third wife, a widow, Margaret 
Randolph (formerly Guppy) - 'Sister Selfe' in the 
diary. 20 Isaac's first cousin, Jacob Selfe, had inherited 
another of the former Brouncker properties, the noble 

9 This was Judge Nicholas, Baron of the Exchequer in the Common- 
wealth, who after 1660 lived quietly at Seend as 'Robert Nicholas 
Esq', cp. E. Bradby, Seend: a Wiltshire Village Past and Present, 
Gloucester, 1981 (hereafter abbreviated: Bradby 1981), p. 129. 

10 Neale, op. at. , p. 61 ff. ; WRO 592/25 of 6 June 1695; deeds refer to 
'Ballowe' or 'Great Ballowe'; but the diarist always writes 'Bollow', 
and that seems to be the modern spelling: O.S. ref. ST 796450. 

11 WRO 529/25 of 1 September 1664; a sale catalogue of the 'Catsley' 
estate in the same WRO deposit gives its extent in 1856 as 303 

12 WRO 529/29. 

13 The editor of the Neale papers gives Thomas Smith's birth year as 

1673, probably relying on the monument in Melksham parish 
church which has 'Ob. 21 Julij, A.D. 1723, Aet. 50'. The register 
of St John's church, Frome, shows that he was baptized on 8 June 

1674. We know from the diary that his birthday was on 4 June (see 
entries for this day, 1716 and 1718), and must therefore surely take 
the dati. of birth as 4 June 1674, though it is unfortunate that on 3 
and 4 June 1716 he writes of completing the forty-first and entering 
the forty-second year of his age, which would not fit either of the 

dates suggested, and looks like a slip or miscalculation. If 1674 is 
right 'aet. 50' must be construed as 'in his fiftieth year'. Ann's dates 
are difficult. The evidence (too involved to summarize in a 
footnote) comes from registers at Frome and Melksham (imper- 
fect), a worn inscription on the floor of Melksham parish church, 
an inaccurate transcript of this in the WANHS Library, printed in 
1821, and an article by Edward Kite in Wiltshire Notes and Queries 
tWNQ) IV (p. 340 ff.) published in 1903. In summary: born Frome 
c. 1667; married Frome 5 March 1685; died Beanacre, 13 October 
168[-], probably 1687. 

14 Prerogative Court of Canterbury (P.C.C.) 1674and 1675;summary 
in Neale, Supp., p. 48. 

15 WRO 1742/5818 a. 

16 I am grateful to the Librarian of Eton College for confirming this. 

17 WRO 1742/5774 b. 

18 Marriage registers of St John's, Frome, and St Michael's, 
Melksham (WRO 1368), both dated 5 March 1685. 

19 VCH Wiltshire VII (1953), p. 99; WNQ IV, p. 338 ff. 

20 WNQ IV, p. 339; Cokayne, G.E. , The Complete Peerage, Vol. VIII 
(1932), s.v. Lucas. 



Figure 2. Shaw House: south front, 1988 

Place House in the centre of Melksham. 21 The Selfe 
cousins were leading lights among the Melksham 
gentry. Isaac was a J. P., and both his and Jacob's 
signatures frequently figure high in the list of those 
approving the accounts and rate assessments in the 
churchwarden's account books. 22 

It is therefore no surprise to find Thomas Smith 
being married to the daughter of another wealthy 
Melksham clothier, who was also connected with the 
Selfes by marriage, and coming to live in Melksham 
(see table, Appendix III, below). His bride, whom he 
married on his twentieth birthday, was Elizabeth, 
daughter of the Daniel Webb who had married Isaac 
Selfe's half-sister Margaret Selfe. 23 Elizabeth's mar- 
riage portion included property which had been part 
of her mother's, in Melksham and its neighbourhood, 
including Rhotteridge farm; in Littlecote (Hil- 
marton); and in Great Somerford. 24 After living for a 
few years in Melksham, in a house which he later 

rented to another clothier, Thomas Long, Smith in 
1701 acquired Shaw Farm, half a mile out of the town 
on the Bath road, with 124^ acres of land, and rebuilt it 
on a grander scale as Shaw House, to be the family 
seat. 25 His initiation into the ruling group in 
Melksham can be traced from the churchwarden's 
account book, where he signs in May 1702 as one of 
the Overseers of the Poor, and thereafter regularly 
signs the accounts in company with the Selfes, and 
becomes churchwarden in 171 1. 26 

The diarist is meticulous in giving the names of the 
men and (less often) women whom he met socially, 
and they fall into three fairly distinct - though 
overlapping - groups. The inner circle of relations 
and close friends included, besides 'Brother' Isaac 
Selfe of Beanacre and Jacob Selfe of Place House, 
several others of the Selfe family. Isaac's eldest son, 
also Isaac, had died in December 1714 'of a flux', in 
the Indian port of Surat, though the news only 



WNQ IV p. 241 ff. 

WRO 1368/92. On 26 May 1716 Smith visited the parish church 

with Mr Long to see a little gallery which was being built at their 

joint cost (removed in Wyatt's restoration of 1845). 

Diary, 4 June 1718; Marriage register, St Michael's, Melksham, 4 

June 1694; cp. WRO 529/11 of 5 June 1718. 

24 WRO 529/11 of 4 and 5 June 1718; Neale, p. 132, Charter 428. 

25 WRO 529/11 of 18 December 1701. Neale (p. 133) notes: 'On 
water-spouts, T. E. 1703'. 

26 WRO 1368/92. 



reached Beanacre nine months later (diary 22 Septem- 
ber 1715). He had two other sons, who are mentioned 
frequently in the diary. The elder was Lucas, who 
survived smallpox in 1719, and spent 14 months in 
1721-22 on the Grand Tour through Holland, Ger- 
many and Italy with his friend Ezekiel Wallis of 
Lucknam (see 2 August 1722). The younger was 
Jacob, sometimes called 'Captain Jacob' or 'the sea 
Captain'. On 1 April 1719 Smith attended a family 
gathering at Beanacre to welcome him back from the 
'East Indies' after an absence of 'near four Years', 
which they celebrated with punch made from 'Rack' 
(Arrack), part of 'the Product of the Voyage'. A 
surviving agreement of April 1717 between 'Captain 
Jacob Selfe' and the Indian owners of 'the Good Ship 
named the Delight Gaily' authorizes him to trade in 
'Surratt, Madras, and Bengali', suggesting that it may 
well have been on such a voyage that his elder brother 
died. 27 After his return Captain Jacob is mentioned 
quite frequently in the diary, and seems to have been 
living with his father, or at least spending much of his 
time there. 

In the early part of the diary there are many 
references to a different person, also designated 
'Captain Selfe' or 'the Captain' (but never as 'Sea 
Captain'): on 24 June 1716 the diarist goes to Jacob 
Selfe's (Place House) 'where the Captain was down in 
the Gout'; on 21 November he found him dangerously 
ill; and on 26 December he again visited him, together 
with the vicar, who said prayers for the sick. From 17 
December there is a gap in the diary, after which he is 
not mentioned again; and the Melksham register 
records the burial, on 20 December 1716, of 'Mr. 
Samuel Self, Batchelor', which leaves little doubt that 
this is the person referred to. He was a younger 
brother of 'Bro. Selfe', who had for many years been 
in financial difficulties owing to his extravagance, and 
was in debt both to his brother and to his brother-in- 
law William Norris (of whom more anon). 28 Why he 
was referred to as 'the Captain' is unexplained: per- 
haps he had been an officer in the militia? 

Jacob Selfe of Place House was unmarried; but his 
younger brother Thomas was rector of Bromham and 
had two sons and four daughters. On 16 September 
1721 Smith found the Reverend Thomas in distress at 
the news that Thomas, his eldest son, who had been 

staying at the Bear in Bath, and had been 'very idle 
and undutiful for some years past', had married the 
landlord's sister. 

Several other families in the diarist's circle were, 
like his, linked with the Selfes by marriage. First 
there were the Norrises of Nonsuch House near 
Bromham. William Norris, who figures in the diary, 
was married to Elizabeth, sister of Isaac Selfe. Like 
Isaac, he had been called to the bar at the Middle 
Temple, and he was named joint executor of his 
father-in-law's will in 1702. He appears as a signatory 
on many of the diarist's title deeds, and was named as 
a guardian of his under-age children in his will. 29 In 
1716 William Norris's son John courted and married 
Elizabeth Thresher, from a wealthy clothier family of 
Bradford-on-Avon, and when the happy couple came 
down from London there were many dinner parties 
and visits to welcome them (see 31 March, 17 August, 
23 August, 30 August, 20 September etc.). Not long 
afterwards, on 15 June 1717, John's sister Mary 
(Maud) was married at Bromham to Sir William 
Hanham, Baronet, of Dean's Court, Wimborne 
(Dorset) and Neston Park (Wiltshire). After this the 
diary notes constant comings and goings between the 
three families and the Smiths and Selfes. Unfor- 
tunately old Mr Norris emerges from the diary as 
peppery and mean. In 1720 we find the diarist making 
repeated visits to Nonsuch to try and get Norris to 
settle an account between them, 'there being Money 
coming to me a considerable Sum even above what he 
pretends to cavil about which is fifty Pounds', which 
Norris claimed to have paid for him in London three 
years before (see 26 March 1720). Only after several 
more fruitless visits was he finally able to get the 
account settled ( 10 February 1721) 'after much wran- 
gling', and being forced to allow a deduction of £15 or 
£16, 'every the least demands as for drawing 
Wrightings etc Being reckon'd'. He concludes the 
entry by hoping that he has 'at last got clear of a very 
bad man'. The social intercourse was not interrupted 
(e.g. 21 March 1721), but there are occasional hints 
that Norris could be awkward in company (e.g. 20 
July 1721, 10 January 1723). 30 

Ezekiel Wallis, mentioned above as a friend of 
Lucas Selfe's, was a member of another family who 
had amassed a fortune through the cloth trade, in 

27 WRO 1742/5124. 

28 See WRO 1742/4775: the will of his father Jacob Selfe (1700), 
which states that since Samuel has 'spent great sums of money 
and been extravagant' his patrimony is to be settled on trustees 
for his use; cp. 1742/4650, where Samuel has sold property to his 
brother and brother-in-law; also 1742/4831: Isaac's will (1732), 

showing that Norris has been allowed to take the profits from 
some of the Selfe lands 'to repay the money which my late 
brother Samuel Selfe owed him'. 

29 Deeds: e.g. WRO 529/25 of 6 June 1695; will: P.C.C. 1723; call to 
the bar: Neale, Supp., p. 62. 

30 Norris family and Nonsuch: WNQ II, p. 190-201. 


Trowbridge and Bristol. Smith attended a party at 
Lucknam (near Colerne) to celebrate his coming-of- 
age (22 October 1715), and another house-party (2-4 
February 1721), which seems to have been lavish and 
grand but rather stiff. Ezekiel Wallis later (1728) 
married Cecilia, daughter of 'Brother Selfe', but this 
would not have seemed likely to the diarist, who in 
1721 had been consulted by her father about her 
illness, thought to proceed from 'some Disorder of the 
Mind', and 'how to dispose of her etc' (11 and 14 
August). 31 

The diarist's father-in-law, Daniel Webb, had died 
in 1678; but his nephew, another Daniel Webb, was 
living at Monkton Farleigh, and relations between the 
Smiths and the Webbs were close throughout the 
diary period. Daniel of Monkton Farleigh was a 
frequent companion of Thomas Smith in the hunting 
field or over the punch-bowl, and in the early years of 
the diary we can trace the interest which several of the 
Wiltshire gentry were taking in his only child Mary, 
who in 1710 had inherited a fortune from her uncle, 
Edward Somner of Seend. On 27 August 1716 Smith 
went to 'Farley' with Mr Northey, son of the Attorney 
General, and Mr Norris, in order that the former 
should 'have a View of the Young Lady there'. On 20 
September he dined with the Webbs, the company 
again including Mr Norris and, this time, 'young Mr 
Washbourne, Mr Earnleys nephew who came there as 
an humble Servant to Mistress Webb'. But the 
favoured suitor was Edward Seymour of Maiden 
Bradley, and on 10 December Smith and his wife 
drove to Monkton Farleigh to meet him, and returned 
home on the following day leaving Seymour 'in a fair 
Probability of possessing the desir'd Prize'. The 
marriage duly took place on 5 March 1717, attended 
by Smith's two daughters, and 'much to the liking of 
all parties concern'd'. The Seymours soon set about 
rebuilding the Somner mansion in Seend, and on 29 
March 1721 Smith visited him at his 'new-built' 
house, 'he now being come to settle'. Thereafter, 
Seymour joins the sporting and hard-drinking gentry 
of the neighbourhood, though it was only after 
Smith's death that Edward Seymour inherited the 
baronetcy (1741) and later - on the expiry of the other 
branch of the family - successfully claimed the 


dukedom of Somerset (1750). 32 The diary also records 
a number of meetings with Webb on 'business', and 
in 1721 Smith travelled to Reading with him to have 
the mortgage of the Monkton Farleigh estate transfer- 
red to him (presumably as security for a loan), 
stopping on the way back at a nursery garden at 
Woolhampton, where 'Mr Webb bought many trees 
and Plants to a great Value' (21-23 August 1721). 33 

A similar bond linked the Selfes to the Awdry 
family, for Mary Selfe, sister to Jacob, of Place 
House, had married Ambrose Awdry of Seend. 
Descended from the Revd John Awdry, vicar of 
Melksham (d. 1639), the Awdrys, like the Smiths and 
Selfes and Webbs, had made money as clothiers and 
invested it in land. 'Mr Awdry' and 'Mr Ambrose 
Awdry' figure frequently in the diary, especially in the 
social gatherings. A predilection for the names 
Ambrose and Jeremiah in the Awdry family often 
make identification uncertain, but the references are 
probably to either Ambrose Awdry (1692-1728/9) of 
Melksham, later of Chippenham, whom the diarist 
visited on 2 December 1719 to congratulate on his 
marriage to Anne Taylor; his brother Jeremiah Awdry 
of Melksham (1694-1754), who was elected 
churchwarden in 1722 on the initiative of the Selfes 
and Thomas Smith (see 16 March 1722); or one of the 
Ambrose Awdrys of Seend, i.e. Mary Selfe's husband 
(1664-1739) or her son (1693-1766). 34 

Another clothier family, the Methuens of Bradford- 
on-Avon, can be observed coming into Smith s circle 
in these years, and was later linked by yet another 
marriage with a Selfe and eventually succeeded to 
Brother Selfe's Beanacre property. Smith records his 
first dinner with 'Mr Methuen' in his house at 
Bradford (28 September 1720); in the following year 
Methuen stays with Brother Selfe (10-12 January 
1721), and he and Smith stay with Methuen (5-6 
December 1721); from July 1722 Methuen partici- 
pates in the 'Club' dinners at the George in Melksham 
(see below, p. 123), and later we find Peggy Smith 
staying with the Methuens at Bradford (12-17 
December 1722). The reference must be to Thomas 
Methuen, clothier (d. 1737), who married Brother 
Selfe's daughter (and ultimately his heiress) Ann. The 
diary makes no reference to the marriage, which may 

31 WNQ IV, pp. 337^*9. Cecilia outlived not only Ezekiel Wallis id. 
1736), but her second husband, John Coxhead, Warden of New 
College, Oxford, whom she married in 1737: see will of Jacob Selfe, 
P.C.C. 1757. 

32 For 'humble Servant' meaning suitor, cp. OED, s.v. Servant, 4 a. 
For the Seymour - Webb alliance, see Bradby, 1981, pp. 185-6. 
For Webb pedigree, see Awdry collection of pedigrees in WANHS 
library. Daniel Webb held Monkton Farleigh on lease from 1695, 

and died there in 1732. Neale (p. 59) says the Daniel Webbs were 
first cousins, but this does not seem to fit the known facts. 

33 On 5 January 1722 Smith inspected Webb's 'new Garden' at 
Monkton Farleigh and spent some time with 'his chief Surveyor of 
laying out the Garden, one Chester'. 

34 Awdry pedigree in Genealogical atul Heraldic Notes concerning the. 
Sheriffs of Wiltshire, MS, WANHS library; cp. Cuttings Book II, p. 



well have taken place at some time in the long diary 
gap covering 13 October 1720 - 9 January 1721. 35 

Two other close friends of the diarist were not 
linked by marriage: they were Mr Horton of 
Broughton Gifford, and the Revd Bohun Fox, who, 
although thought to be terminally ill in 1722-23, 
continued as vicar of Melksham until his death in 
1750 (see 14 January and 20 October 1722, 31 January 
1723). 36 

Moving outwards, we come to a circle consisting 
largely of the landed gentry of the district, with whom 
the Smiths were on visiting terms, but who figure in 
the diary less frequently than those considered above. 
They include Mr Ernie or Earnley of Whetham 
(Calne), John Ivory Talbot of Lacock, M.P., John 
Harvey of Cole Park (Malmesbury), Mr Kington of 
Jaggards (Corsham), Edward Rolt, M.P., of Spye 
Park (Sandy Lane), and a group of Devizes Tories, 
including Smith's cousin Robert Nicholas, John 
Child, and the attorney Francis Sadleir. We should 
probably also include here Thomas Long, clothier, 
who rented Smith's house near the bridge in 
Melksham, and is often referred to as 'Mr Long of the 
Bridge': as well as being Smith's tenant he also met 
him on a social footing, and the ladies of the two 
families were on friendly terms. A newcomer to the 
town was Henry Coulthurst, a clothier who had come 
from Lancashire (see 24 April 1716). Smith called on 
him for the first time on 8 December 1715, and 
references to him increase in the following years. 37 

Finally, there is an outer circle who are occasionally 
invited to dine or smoke a pipe, but are seldom or 
never to be found at the evening parties. They include 
another Mr Long, referred to as 'Mr Long of the 
Farm' to avoid confusion with his namesake of the 
Bridge (e.g. 26 September 1715); neighbours such as 

William Cundick (8 January 1718) or John 
Marshman, whose Quaker burial the diarist describes 
(28 February 1721); and Mr Harris the Bradford 
apothecary, who attended the family professionally, 
but also dined from time to time, and whose daughter 
twice stayed at Shaw House (see 11 January 1718 and 
29 January 1723). 38 

Weekly and fortnightly meetings 

Perusal of the diary soon reveals a certain pattern 
emerging from the multitude of chance or planned 
meetings between Smith and his friends. After dinner 
on Mondays it is evidently their habit (though never 
described as such) to meet together sociably, each of 
the members of their inner circle acting as host in 
turn. Thus, for example, in October 1716 they met on 
the 1st at Beanacre (Isaac Selfe's), on the 8th at Shaw 
House, on the 15th at Jacob Selfe's (Place House), on 
the 22nd at Mr Horton's (Broughton Gifford), and on 
the 29th at Melksham vicarage. Smith often gives the 
time when the gathering broke up, and less often the 
time of assembly: the general pattern seems to have 
been from about 4p.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. Of ninety such 
Monday meetings chronicled in the diary between 
September 1715 and February 1722, the diarist was 
host to twenty-one, the vicar to nineteen, Jacob and 
Isaac Selfe to seventeen and sixteen respectively, one 
of the Awdry brothers to ten, and Mr Horton to 

One of the objects of these meetings was evidently to 
exchange news and comment about national affairs. 
The numbers attending ranged from three to ten, but 
was usually about half a dozen. Among other names 
occurring more than once are those of the Revd 
Thomas Selfe of Bromham, Mr John Ivory Talbot, 
and Mr Coxeter. 

35 VCH Wiltshire VII (1953), p. 43; W.H. Jones, Bradford mi Avon, 
Bradford, 1907, p. 208; DNB. Thomas and Ann's son Paul (later of 
Corsham House) was born in 1723, which would suggest 1721-22 
as a likely date for the marriage; but if it had been after 9 January 
1721 the diary (which is continuous) could hardly have failed to 
mention it. On 10 September 1720 the company at Beanacre 
included 'Mr Methuen the Comptroller': this was Thomas's first 
cousin Paul (later Sir Paul [1672- 1757]), who had been Secretary of 
State, then ambassador to Madrid, and was now Comptroller of the 

36 Horton: see WAM 5, pp. 3 1 7^4 1 . Smith's friend was probably 
John Horton Esq., who had married Mary Yerbury (he d. 1742, 
art. 77). Fox: VCH Wiltshire VII (1953), p. 117. 

37 Earnley: descended from Sir John Ernie, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer (d. 1697). Smith's friend was probably John Kyrle 
Earnley. Pedigree in A.E.W. Marsh, History of Calne., 1903. 
Harvey: diary 16 November 1715 (Smith at John Harvey's corrung- 
of-age party). In 1726 Smith's son John was to marry Mary Harvey 
(Neale, p. 133). Kington: the family had held Jaggards since about 
1550. The reference is probably to John (d. 1729, ael. 50): WRO 

415/215; 1285/43. 

Rolt: Edward Rolt, M.P. for Wilts, died of smallpox 1722/3 (diary 
1 1 January 1723). In 1722 ( 18 January) Smith had been concerned 
about a likely separation between him and his wife, who fled to 
Nonsuch; but by 21 June they had evidendy made it up. See also 
WAM 11, note on p. 206. 

Talbot: Sharington Talbot's daughter and heiress had married Sir 
John Ivory, and her son John Ivory took the surname Talbot in 
1714. He was M.P. for Ludgershall (1714) and Wiltshire 
(1727-41): WANHS Library, Wiltshire Pedigrees (Kite), vol II, p. 

Devizes Tories: WAM 81, pp. 91-110, with index. 
Long: WRO 529/11 of 5 June 1718. 

Coulthurst: he was Surveyor of the Highways for Melksham in 
1721 (diary 11 March) and Overseer of the Poor 1723-24 (WRO 
1368/92). In 1738 his mills were wrecked by local weavers: VCH 
Wiltshire,VU(l95S)p. 114. 
38 Tenants, such as Edward Gibbs of Rhottendge, also dined some- 
times, but it is not easy to tell how far this was simply an extension 
of business talks. 



In 1720 and 1721 the friendly Monday evenings are 
reported less frequently and seem to be less well 
attended; perhaps the death of the diarist's wife in 
January 1720 had something to do with this. But from 
Friday 13 July 1722 a new pattern emerges: a wider 
group of friends meets 'by appointment' for dinner, 
punch, and conversation. After the one just men- 
tioned, the meetings are always on Thursdays, at 
about fortnightly intervals, and are always held at 
John Beavan's, i.e. the George Inn in Melksham. 39 
On 11 October 1722 Smith refers to the meeting as 
'our Club Dinner at Melksham', and states that it was 
attended by 'ten of our own Neighbours' as well as 
Lord Castlehaven and Mr Rolfe. 40 Here too there was 
discussion of national news, though several of the 
diarist's comments suggest that the drinking of punch 
tended to take precedence over serious discussion. 
Indeed on the occasion just mentioned he writes 'We 
all tarri'd till pretty late, and drank much Punch and 
October, but amongst it had but very little talk of 
publick Matters which indeed is purposely avoided'. 

The diarist regularly records the chief subject of 
discussion at the informal Monday evenings: unfor- 
tunately, he rarely gives any hint about what was said 
or the attitude taken either by himself or by his 
friends. Thus in the early part of the diary we can 
follow step by step the Jacobite risings in Scotland 
and the west country (September - November 1715), 
the battles of Preston Pans and Sheriff muir, the Old 
Pretender's landing and his ignominious flight two 
months later, and the steps taken to punish some and 
reprieve others of the leaders of the rebellion (Feb- 
ruary - May 1716). But to his own attitude he gives 
hardly a clue. Of his feelings about the Stuart dynasty 
we can gather something from the fact that he always 
went to church on 30 January, for the 'publick Service 
and Humiliation' appointed for the anniversary of the 
execution of Charles I; and on three occasions he 
moralises about it, giving vent in 1716 to some strong 
comments on 'the heinous Guilt of shedding the blood 
of the Lord's anointed'. But his guarded references to 
'the Person call'd the Pretender' (12 March 1716) and 
to Lord Mar raising 'the Standard as they call it of 
James the third' (19 September 1715) do not suggest 
even lurking hopes of a second Restoration, and it is 
probable that his concern for law and order would 

have kept him loyal to King George if it had ever 
come to the crunch. As it is, the diary betrays no great 
consternation even at the height of the rising, and his 
use of phrases such as 'the Affairs in the North' (31 
October 1715) or 'the Northern Commotion' (7 
November 1715) do not suggest that it presented 
much of a threat to the Wiltshire squires. Considering 
the primitive state of communications at the time, 
Smith and his friends were kept well up to date with 
news: a report of the 'great Defeat' at Preston Pans, 
which happened on 13 November 1715, had reached 
them by Monday the 19th; and the Pretender's flight 
from Scotland on 4 February 1716 was known to them 
by the 13th. In the latter case, Smith for once tells us 
the source of their information, which was 'the Public 
Prints'. 41 

Though the 1715 rising had failed, it is clear that 
the threat of further Jacobite invasions continued to 
colour discussions of foreign policy throughout the 
period of the diary. In February 1717 they are 
concerned at a 'Conspiracy', leading to the arrest of 
the Swedish Minister in London, and in March there 
is reference to 'the Swedish Juration', and to ships 
rumoured as seen off Yarmouth. Two years later the 
danger is from Spain: in March 1719 there are reports 
that the Pretender is about to launch a new invasion 
with Spanish help; and the threat continues to be a 
subject of discussion until 22 June, when 'this Day's 
Post' brings news of the defeat of 'the Lord Gulli- 
bardin etc. who were with some few Spaniards in the 
North of Scotland and had got together a small 
Number of the same Country People'. The nearest the 
Wiltshire squires came to involvement was on 22 June 
1722, when Daniel Webb's house at Monkton Far- 
leigh was searched for arms at the time when (as we 
now know) the discovery of another Jacobite plot had 
led Walpole to take repressive measures. 

Among matters of discussion not concerned with 
foreign policy are the suspension of the Triennial Act 
in April 1716, the re-shuffle of the Ministry in April 
1717 (when Stanhope and Sunderland took over from 
Townshend and Walpole), the controversy in June 
and July of the same year over the writings of Bishop 
Hoadley (which seemed to threaten the whole idea of 
an established Church), and the speculations leading 
to the bursting of the 'South Sea Bubble' (prominent 

39 cp. WRO 1742/4820: the details suggest the Union Street neigh- 

40 cp. 9 October 1722: 'one Rolph, a noted Anatomist' and 15 
October 1722: 'The Professor of Anatomy'. Regular members 
included the two Selfes, Mr Norns, and Mr Talbot. 

41 This could refer to some of the provincial newspapers which were 

being published in provincial cities by this date, including Bristol 
and Salisbury. More probably they would get the London Gazette 
or some of the many London weeklies based on it. See G.A. 
Cranfield, The Development of the Provincial Newspapei; 1700-1760, 
Oxford, 1962. 



in the discussions from February 1720 to July 1721). 
One of the diarist's few extended comments on public 
affairs is prompted by a proclamation for the sup- 
pression of 'irreligious Clubbs', which he heard 
discussed during a visit to London: he writes that 
everyone 'speaks of them with the utmost detestation 
as they duely deserve, such blasphemous Impieties 
having never been heard of and are not fit to be 
committed to Paper' (7 May 1721). 

Sunday Observance 

The other pattern which soon becomes evident to a 
reader of the diary is that of Sunday observance. 
During the whole of the period covered by the diary 
Thomas Smith only failed to attend public worship on 
eight Sundays, once because he had mistaken the time 
of service (27 December 1719), twice owing to sick- 
ness, three times just before and after his wife's death 
(January 1720), and twice when travelling to the 
assizes or on urgent private business. 42 He normally 
attended Melksham parish church, together with his 
wife, children, and servants (sometimes referred to as 
'my little Family'), and on all but half a dozen 
occasions he notes in his diary the scripture reference, 
and often the words, of the text used by the preacher. 
Nor was his Sabbath observance confined to church 
attendance. On one Sunday in 1717 he was visited by 
two gentlemen offering to sell him the reversion of his 
mother-in-law's estate at Great Somerford; 'but', he 
comments, 'it being on so improper a day I would not 
enter into much Discourse with thim and so perhaps 
have miss'd the Purchase' (14 April 1717). On another 
occasion, when he has been at a wedding dinner on a 
Saturday evening at Nonsuch and there was dancing 
until nearly 1 a.m., he adds 'but it being a Marriage 
Feast, I trust the Breach of the Sabbath will not be 
imputed' (15 June 1717). He mentions family prayers 
only once, on the occasion of his having a fainting fit 
on a Friday evening (10 April 1719), but such evening 
prayers for the household may well have been a daily 

His occasional moralisings leave the impression of a 
man of genuine but simple faith, often close to 
superstition, and prizing the virtues of industry and 
moderation. After a long description of the Aurora 
Borealis (6 March 1716), he writes: 'Tis only God 
alone that knows to what End such unusual Appear- 

ances are'; and when the Aurora appears again three 
years later, he comments that many people will 
connect it with the threat of a Jacobite invasion, 
concluding with the words: 'I wish it may have the 
Effect of amending our Lives and giving us Resolu- 
tions of Acting according to our Consciences 
(throughly inform'd), as Occasion shall be; and for 
the rest leave it to the supream Being' (19 March 
1719). After the funeral of his Aunt Guppy (10 
December 1719) he reflects that she was 'healthfull all 
her Life and very penurious, as indeed her Family 
and Circumstances requir'd'; and on 12 September 
1716, after escaping from the bustle of preparations 
for a dinner party to the Norrises, he condemns 
'Straining beyond our proper Reach' as something 
which 'I cannot by any means advise my Posterity 
ever or very rarely to practice', 43 and resolves on 'that 
Quiet and Regularity of Living' which 'I really think 
to be most Commendable as well as Pleasant'. He was 
in the habit of giving 'a small Dole' to the poor of the 
neighbourhood on 21 December, and after doing so in 
1722 he notes that the poor have much increased in 
numbers in his time, and 'much Misery I fear is 
among them, the Greatest part of it thro' (it is to be 
doubted) their own Lasiness and vicious Lives which 
truly in many of them seem to be not far remov'd 
from what is natural and unavoidable in the dumb 
Creatures'. The consideration of this, 'and of the yet 
Gentile part of the World' he comfortably dismisses as 
'what is not by me to be comprehended and must 
therefore be left, with True Acknowledgement that 
God is Wise, just and Merciful'. 

It is only fair to add that Thomas Smith's values 
were very much those which must have been 
commended to the Melksham congregation by Bohun 
Fox or (when Fox was taking the waters at Bath) by 
his curates or the occasional visiting preacher. While 
the texts are drawn from a good cross-section of 
biblical sources (except St Mark's Gospel, which is 
never used), the emphasis tends to be on personal 
conduct rather than the regeneration of society. The 
ten commandments provide a framework for a series 
of sermons lasting two or three months in three 
successive years, 44 and the theme of 'be content with 
what you have' (from Hebrews 13:5) is treated in 
two-monthly series on three occasions. 45 Thomas 
Smith can, in fact, be taken as a good representative 

42 On 24 Jan 1720, eight days after his wife's funeral, he gives as the 
reason for the family's non-attendance: 'being advis'd to be absent 
out of a certain Ceremony not at all agreeable to me and perfectly 
contrary to my Inclination'. What might this be? 

43 This could be read as a hint that Smith expected the diary to be 

read after his death; more probably, he is simply soliloquising. 

44 November-December 1715, June-August 1716 and August- 
October 1717. 

45 June-July 1717, June-July 1719 and November- December 1721. 



of anglican morality in the eighteenth century, with 
its limited social objectives and its emphasis on the 
stability of society, but its genuine striving after 
personal honesty and moderation. 

The temptations to which these standards were 
exposed can be judged from the diarist's occasional 
reflections on excessive drinking. The punch-bowl 
was a regular feature of the evening gatherings with 
his friends: see, for example, 21 April 1720: 'I din'd at 
Bro Selfes with Sr Wm Hanham, Mr Thresher and his 
Son, Mr Norris, Mr Rogers of Bradford, Mr Tho. 
Methuen, one Holiday, and Harris the Apothecary - 
Mr Lucas Selfe was there also: after Dinner we were 
entertain'd with Punch and other Liquors and 'twas 
near twelve when I came Home, all the Company 
being in good Humour and we had little or no Talk of 
any State matters'. Sometimes he clearly did drink to 
excess: on 7 February 1717 he and other friends 
enjoyed 'gossiping time' 46 with Mr Coulthurst, 'and 
were entertain'd with too great a Quantity of Punch; 
being much press'd by the Master of the House to 
make an End of the Bowl, that made it a very 
unseasonable Hour before I came Home'. But he 
adds: 'God giving me Grace to perform my Resolution 
I purpose never to be guilty of the Like Excess'. 
However, remarks such as 'we were treated with 
Punch and other Liquors and I think not much to 
Excess' (3 August 1722), or 'God forgive the excesses' 
after an evening at Shaw House (11 May 1721) suggest 
that he did not always find it easy to observe mode- 
ration, and once he records how he was plied with so 
much drink by the Seymours that he had to spend the 
night at Seend Green House (22 November 1721). On 
the next day he suffered from a bad hangover, which 
was only partially improved by riding out with Sey- 
mour's beagles. That he could take what we should 
consider unwise amounts of liquor without ill effects 
appears from his account of a journey from Salisbury 
returning in Brother Selfe's chariot from the assizes, 
when they stopped at an ale-house in Tilshead to 
drink ale and brandy, and again at Ashton 47 where 
they drank 'two Pints of Wine' (17 March 1720). 

When we turn to consider how Thomas Smith 
spent his week-days, it is less easy to discern any 
pattern, particularly since so much of what would 
interest us is hidden behind that baffling 'in Privacy'. 
We can, however, distinguish four main activities 
which claimed much of his time, and it is worth while 
taking a look at each of these in turn. 


First there was the family. Although his wife's pres- 
ence is usually implied rather than mentioned, there 
can be no doubt that theirs was a happy marriage. On 
one of the few occasions when his emotions peep 
through the dry style of the diary he writes (20 
September 1715): 'Nothing to be remember'd has 
happen'd this day being at home the whole day in 
privacy and Retirement: such like (when I have my 
Dearest Companion with me) being the pleasant days 
of my Life'. Her periodic bouts of illness became 
more frequent in 1719 (e.g. on 5 April, 'My wife was 
disorder'd sowhat more then common'); and her 
death in January 1720 was a grievous blow which left 
him depressed and subject to 'agues' for several 
months afterwards. In a long 'character' included in 
his entry for 16 January 1720 he describes her as 'a 
loving dutiful Wife and Daughter, a kind and tender 
Mother, and a cheerful and ready Friend, and, what is 
not altogether common, rejoyced very much when 
She had it in her Power to do, or had already 
perform'd, any office of Charity or Friendship to any 
of her Friends in Particular, or other person what- 
soever'. And two years later he had a handsome 
memorial tablet (Figure 3) cut by 'Broads the Stone- 
Cutter near Box' and erected in Melksham parish 
church, where it may still be seen (27 and 30 Novem- 
ber 1722). 

Another member of the household for long stays in 
the summer and at Christmas was the old lady usually 
referred to as 'my Mother' or as the grandmother of 
one of the children. She lived for the rest of the year at 
Bath, where both the diarist and - as they grew up - 
his children frequently visited her. Weekly supplies of 
chickens etc. were sent to her from Shaw, carried by 
John Breach, a former servant of hers and 'a Person 
much acquainted in our Family' (7 October 1722). 
She was evidently a chronic invalid, and there are 
many references to 'something tending to the Gout', 
'gouty humours in the Stomach' etc. Though he never 
criticizes her, the diary betrays that his relations with 
her were not always easy. On 7 June 1718, when he 
visits her in Bath, he records 'a very unpleasant 
Discourse with my Mother', and on 18 July he hears 
that she has been visiting 'Aunt Selfe' in Seend 
without informing him, and sends Peggy to press her 
to stay at Shaw; but she will not do more than stop for 
a few hours on her way back to Bath. On 8 March 
1722 she is 'discontented' with him 'for some Matters 

46 See below, p. 135. 

47 Probably Steeple Ashton. Their road would have taken them from 

Tilshead NE over the downs to Edington, then N through Steeple 
Ashton and Semington. 



•' '^j^''' 1 * \k"**y of'M'irjjr.AW'Tf1 .SMITH, 
f s *' v iio lies Buw-cf rtrar t^ace. ' , '. ; rave 

with lipr Farlwr DaSIFA W ! i !»(*« 

* , Sh *** Wifi< of '1H0MA.S Sk ,5k- ri « F.v 

.. 1 .-siltl I )r« '.! hiitUUrS I 'S I : fi| Hi Si:t,:,»<, ' \ M'oj 1 ff'f AoC ' 

■\i:-» near the same Place ft'e'liunec! two Sow aria 

•^ a L)-,Vi ghfcer of tin* a hove immi'Tl WMAS are! 

; * : .\BKni Smith Tin m ■ ■<■ ir .-M. ■• s. Vi 


y \i 

DFed Is.'fv.'i f(>o« hrt^lwf rers^dks rftree 
ioW If K k MA3 tfceir | xi bons,* boDfectftfach 
j ! \\ tfc \ic ol s£ '•* pekes i im da} , ANN 
DkyiDpi " r i i at rfii %*o^ Mne yewa .Six 

:■!.;<!> rfrtn .i.<.\< rk»ip*d IHGMAS SMITH L- 

t. .!> thrhf Church sst Fr^ltnd toll Ml t.Son rrt»: 

• i ■ .nil ccHittenaU^d^ Stat* a Mrmlwr nhwiMs 

i tpjii hn fo! its .Siij«t«Tt, do NttgiMboffs^ rru atcs 
i< in f. d JSmcf iiii'n-i- .-(»! HfMin fti.sfarijtK 
i-r rn « |t@<x§rjefl idtwf \Mtlt ,< ><«»«{ fiuttiroenf 

f ; 

t&iinf&nm -'<.:!< fra thel ntrvr-iijwin 
■nijiwiM f n iinfetatsfrKi * jjrghtw I ,( 
Fintftiritv,8fK>M Mid pn^em ■ »* r *,< ^i rv. sh-lu • i £Jnu< i! - 
be i ju-rjitif ,tmi n.lminf ,«>ksfi riMifl tii»*>iii pWaciaus tW 
M.n«>r\ •! M SMI f"H(* .<< firfu » Df V- <■• 

'#. f f > f 

Figure 3. Smith monument in St Michael's church, Melksham 


that I thought I had deserv'd her utmost approbation 
in'; and on 1 August, when she is staying at Shaw, she 
is so angry with him that she removes herself to 
Beanacre (sc. Manor) before dinner, and is still angry 
when she leaves for Bath a few days later. 

The natural assumption (shared by the editor of the 
Neale papers) is that this lady was Thomas Smith's 
widowed mother. However, perusal of the full manu- 
script and evidence from registers, wills, and title 
deeds strongly suggests that it was his mother-in-law, 
Margaret, relict of Daniel Webb. 48 If this is so, and if 
we can identify the Mrs Elizabeth Smith who was 
buried at Frome in December 1680, with the diarist's 
mother, we have a convincing explanation for all the 
known facts: Thomas Smith will then have lost his 
father when he was a baby and his mother when he 
was six, but kept a close relationship with his wealthy 
widowed mother-in-law, Margaret Webb, referred to 
in the diary occasionally as 'Mother Law' but usually 
as 'Mother', in accordance with common practice at 
that time. This is, accordingly, the assumption made 
in the rest of this article. That she could be interfering 
in the management of her grandchildren can be 
gathered from an incident after the Christmas holiday 
in 1718, when 'Jacky in the Morning was on horse- 
back in order for Sarum; but it raining a little his 
Grand Mother would not let him go, much to my 
Discomfort' (14 January 1718). 

In 1715 the Smiths had four children living with 
them: Margaret ('Peggy') was 18, Elizabeth ('Betsy' 
or 'Bet') was 14, John ('Jacky') was 12, and Walter 
('Watty') 7. The girls are mentioned mainly as going 
to visit their grandmother in Bath or friends and 
relations in the neighbourhood, as when they went 
with the Nonsuch party for a week's visit to Oxford 
and Woodstock (26 July-2 August 1717). The only 
hint of their being taught anything is in 1722 when, 
'at my Mother's request', Mr Priest the Bath organist 
came to 'instruct Betsy in her Musick': he stayed from 


Wednesday (24 January) to the following Saturday, 
and on Thursday evening he and Betsy entertained 
the family with music. Further visits by Mr Priest 
occurred in July, August, and September of that year. 
By contrast, both the boys were being educated 
throughout the diary period. Jacky was at Mr Dalby's 
school at Heyford (Oxfordshire) until April 1717, but 
was transferred later that year - apparently as a result 
of Mr Dalby's illness - to the Salisbury cathedral 
school, of which the headmaster was the Revd Rich- 
ard Hele, and which was acquiring a wide reputation 
at this time. 49 In January 1720 Thomas Smith is 
disturbed by reports that Jacky has been misbehaving 
at school; but after going to Salisbury to see Mr Hele 
he is relieved to find that the trouble was nothing 
worse than some debts: father cheerfully pays up, and 
son promises not to do it again (1 February 1720). But 
on 11 April 1722, after Jacky had left school, Thomas 
Smith again visited Mr Hele and 'pai'd off several old 
Debts of my Sons to Tradesmen'. 

In February 1722 Jacky was admitted to Oriel 
College, Oxford, as a 'gentleman commoner'. As the 
diary here is unusually full and interesting, it seems 
worth while to quote the whole passage, especially as 
the first page of it was not known to Jackson, whose 
extract in WAM 11 therefore starts halfway through, 
and with a wrong year-date. 

Munday 26th Early in the Morning I took Horse with 
my Son John to place him at Oxford: we call'd on 
Mr Selfe of Broomham 50 whose Civility I heartily 
acknowledge to go with us, and had also to accom- 
pany us the Person that came down with Mr Long 
last mention'd who was returning with the Horse 
Mr Long came down on which was only an Oxford- 
Hack but prov'd of Service to us; for before we 
came to Faringdon, Mr Selfes Horse began to 
faulter, so that he mounted on the Hack and left his 
Horse at Faringdon till our Return. We were 

The chief pointers are:- (i) an entry on 3 March 1723 mentions an 
angry letter 'from my Mother law at Bath'; cp. 14 July 1717, where 
a careful reading suggests that 'Mother' and 'Mother Law' refer to 
the same person; (ii) a reference (14 April 1717) to negotiations 
about the reversion of 'my Mother's Estate at Somerford' suggests 
that Margaret Webb is meant, since land at Somerford Magna was 
part of her marriage portion (see note 25, above); (iii) the 
unpleasantness in June 1718 and March 1722 also point to her, for 
in the former month he was concluding the sale of the Bollow 
property, and in the latter arranging fresh leases of Tollar Wylme 
and Catscliffe, all included in the marriage setdement of Margaret's 
daughter Elizabeth to the diarist in 1696 (Neale p. 133, charter 
435); (iv) the angry removal to Beanacre is more easily understood 
if it was a case of Margaret going to her half-brother Isaac Selfe; (v) 
Margaret Webb certainly lived till 1732, and was named as trustee 
and guardian of Thomas Smith's under-age children in his will 

(P.C.C. 1723), whereas there is no mention of his mother in that 
document or in setdements of 1696 and 1718 (Neale p. 133, p. 

49 Jacky came home from Heyford on 22 April 1717, and is next 
heard of as leaving for Salisbury on 25 June, whence he returned on 
11 December, 'in Health and somewhat grown, but very thin'. 
There is, however, a gap in the diary from 27 April to 31 May 1717. 
Mr Dalby was probably the Revd John Dalby, a graduate of New 
College, Oxford, who became rector of Heyford Warren 
(Oxfordshire) in 1695 (Alumni Oxonienses). The Revd Richard Hele 
was a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, and was headmaster of 
the Salisbury Cathedral School from 1706 to 1756. From 1713 he 
was also rector of Rampisham (Dorset), and from 1729 a Canon of 
Salisbury (Alumni Oxonienses; VCH Wiltshire V, 1957, p. 357). 

50 Thomas Selfe was an Oxford graduate, of St John's College 
{Alumni Oxonienses). 



benighted before our journeys end: and had the 
Assistance of a very civil Gent, on the Road else 
could not have found our Way in the Dark however 
by the Help of our Guide and afterwards of a 
Butcher we accidentally met with we came to the 
Cross Inn about 8. 

Tuesday 27th As soon as we could in the Morning we 
set out to view the University and return'd to our 
Quarters to dine afterwards sending to Mr Awdley 
Harvey who is of Oriel, we went with him to his 
Chamber and sent to Mr Brooke a Fellow of the 
same College under whose Care I have plac'd my 
Son as Gent Commoner and with whom we supp'd 
that Night and were not at our Lodgings before 

Wednesday 28th Feb - We again visitted Mr Brooke 

7727 51 and drank Tea in the Morning and from 

thence went to see several Colleges Gardens etc.: 
worthy indeed to be noted as to their Neatness 
Magnificence and the Pleasure I think they must 
necessarily afford to the Scholars Mr Harvey din'd 
with us and was at our Quarters till near ten - 

Thursday March 1st - As yesterday was spent, so 
likewise this Morning; and in providing Necessarys 
for our New House-keeper; but much of that was 
saved to us by the good Fortune we had to get one 
of the Chambers belonging to a Fellow at a certain 
Rent ready furnish'd. The Provost of the House 
invited Mr Selfe, Mr Brooke, and one Hodges who 
is a Partner with him in Tutorship; and Awdley 
Harvey with my Self and Son to dine with him: and 
leaving the old Gent, soon after Dinner, we finish'd 
our views of what was remarkable and likewise all 
our Business and spent the Evening at Mr Hodge's 
Chamber, One Bowles who is Librarian to the 
University and an Antiquarian being with us the 
Time past very pleasantly and we tarri'd 'till Eleven 
or after - 

Friday 2d - Mr Brook came to take his Leave this 
Morning and one Tindal a Gent. Commoner and 
his Pupil who is the Son of Mr Tindal of Bathford 
being with him they both drank Tea with us, and 
we presently took horse for Purton, only tarry 'd an 
Hour or more at Faringdon where Mr Selfes Horse 
was left and came to our journeys End between 6 
and 7 - 

Saturday 3d - We spent all the Morning and took a 

Dinner with our Friend Mr Goddard; so 'twas two 
before we set forwards on our journey Homewards 
and by the Badness of the Roads and going somw- 
hat out of the Way, Darkness had overtaken us 
before we came to Broomham; Yet after giving Mr 
Selfe my best thanks as they are justly due for his 
Company in this long journey I came homewards in 
the Dark and at Eight or a little after found my two 
Girles in good Health. The success of this journy 
will (in my Apprehention) much point out the Life 
of my Son, the Foundation now being to be lai'd 
either of Industry and Virtue or Vice and Sloth; 
nothing being surer then as the Principles so will 
the Practice be; which has given me the greater 
Circumspection in my choice of his Tutor who, I 
have Confidence, will be more then ordinary careful 
over him; and so under the Protection of the 
Almighty Providence leave him to proceed - 52 

Meanwhile his brother Watty had been at another 
boarding school in Chippenham, under a Mr Sowden 
(15 August 1717), 53 and then at Marlborough Gram- 
mar School. Chance mentions in the diary (12 June 
1718 and 22 October 1722) reveal that this was 
Thomas Smith's own old school, and on 10 April 1719 
he himself went with Watty for his first term at 
Marlborough, and spent some time with the Head- 
master, Mr Hildrop, at an inn and at Mr Hildrop's 
house. It is therefore perhaps odd that he did not send 
his elder son there. It may be significant that a 
fellow-pupil of Watty's at Marlborough was Isaac, 
younger son of the Revd Thomas Selfe of Bromham. 
In May 1721 three others of Watty's schoolmates 
stayed for a few days at Shaw House: these were the 
two sons of Charles Baily of Seagry and the son of 
Benjamin Scott of Chippenham, a London toll- 
collector and later vicar of Wilsford with Woodford. 54 
By noting the dates when the two boys travelled to 
and from school we can gather the pattern of the 
school year, which seems to have been much the same 
in all four schools: the boys had only three holidays in 
the year: about four weeks at Christmas (from mid- 
December to mid- January), the two weeks with 
Easter in the middle, and about four weeks in early 
summer, starting a week before Whitsunday. This 
arrangement must have made for an inordinately long 
summer term, especially if Easter was early: in 1721, 

51 Year-date as in MS: think of it as 28 Feb 1722. 

52 Alumni Oxonienses records John's matriculation on 1 March 1721/2, 
but gives his age as 15: ? a misprint for 18, since he was baptized on 
11 March 1703. In this transcript I have tried to give Smith's 
punctuation as he wrote it, except that when he uses a colon to 

indicate an abbreviation I have substituted a full point. 

53 Possibly the Revd Roger Sowden, graduate of St Edmund Hall, 
Oxford, 1698, and Rector of Sopworth (Alumni Oxonienses). 

54 Diary 22-3 May 1721; A.R. Stedman, A History of Marlborough 
Grammar Sclwol (privately printed), 1945, p. 36. 



for example, Watty went back to Marlborough on 14 
June, and there is no further mention of him in the 
diary until his homecoming on 11 December. 55 

Public Service 

Next we may consider Thomas Smith's limited 
involvement in local and county administration. We 
have already mentioned that he was a frequent signa- 
tory of the minutes authorizing the Melksham Over- 
seers to collect poor-rates and approving their 
accounts and disbursements, the total of which at this 
period came to about £21. 56 The Vestry then decided 
how many multiples of this rate should be collected. 
The figures for the diary years bear out Smith's 
reflection, quoted earlier, on the increase in the 
numbers needing relief, the number of rates being as 

1715 12 (May, October) 1720 14 (September) 

1716 4 (March) 1721 39 (January, 


1717 5 (April) 1722 12 (May, Sep- 


1718 26 (October) 1723 16 (January, 

April, June, 

1719 20 (January, June) 

In April 1717 the diary reveals that Smith and his 
friends were dissatisfied with the management of the 
poor-rates. On 2 April the diarist was at Place House 
with Jacob Selfe, 'Brother Selfe', Mr Coxeter, 'the 
two Mr Norriss', the vicar, and Ambrose Awdry, 
when the Overseer called 'with the Book of Rates for 
the Poor, to have our hands for collecting more 
Money', and there ensued ' a Debate . . . with Mr 
Coxeter, concerning the Rates to the Poor'. On 24 
April Smith, with Brother Selfe and some others, 
again attended the Vestry to inspect the Overseers' 
accounts, 'which this Year are larger thin ever I 
knew'. But as one of the Overseers was not ready with 
his figures, they adjourned to Place House, resumed 
business about six and did not return till about ten 
o'clock. The result, in the Overseers' account book, is 
a minute dated 8 April, in which the words 'have 
examined into the Disbursements of the Overseers of 
the poor of the said Parish and do consent' have been 

deleted, and the agreement limited to the sanctioning 
of five more rates; it is signed by the two Selfes, Fox, 
Smith, and Ambrose Awdry. Similar disputes over 
the poor-rates figure in the diary entries for May 1719 
and the following months, 'the presant Overseers 
making much Disturbance by their refusing the Rate 
agreed by the Parish to be made as formerly' (15 June 
1719). The rate was not finally approved, after several 
adjournments, till 24 July, and on Sunday 30 August 
Smith attended a Vestry meeting 'to hear the 
Complaints of the Poor; there being many by Reason 
of the deadness of Trade and a Feaver that is now 
much reigning'. He adds that '(God be praised) Bread 
and other Provisions are plenty enough, especially 
Bread and Flesh that is but half fed.' 

That Smith's concern about the rates was not 
limited to the increasing calls on his purse is indicated 
by an entry of 20 April 1722: after attending a Vestry 
meeting he writes: 'many poor persons were there to 
ask for Relief, and I think some pretty hardly dealt 
with'. Four days later he attended the Vestry meeting 
to receive the accounts of the churchwardens (his 
neighbour Isaac Poulsom and John Glass) 'whose 
Disbursements were very much dislik'd and so 
nothing was done'. Similar difficulties about the 
poor-rate accounts are commented on in 1720 and 
1721, and in that and the following year there are 
critical comments too about the Surveyors of High- 
ways, culminating on 26 December 1722, when Smith 
tore himself away from the customary dinner given to 
'some of our Neighbours and Tenants' in order to 
attend a Vestry meeting at 3 p.m. 'to see the Ac'ts of 
the Surveyors of the high Ways which appear'd to be 
very confus'd and unfair'. He rejoined his guests at 
home until they left, between nine and ten, 'without 
any Disorder'. 

In all, the diarist mentions attending Vestry meet- 
ings twenty-nine times (not at all 1715 and 1716, 
eleven times in 1719), and the general impression left 
is that local administration in Melksham at this period 
was sporadic and often chaotic. While Smith and his 
friends were prepared to do their stint as churchwar- 
den and overseer, and to cast a critical eye over the 
accounts, they evidently did not see their role as 
obliging them to take a more active lead in local 
affairs. It is clear from references in the diary that the 
overseer was expected to go round and collect the 
rates personally (e.g. 9 February 1716 and 11 Feb- 

55 On 29 September 1722 he was sent for to come home, 'being 
Sessions at Marlborough next week', and he stayed till 8 October; 
but this seems to have been exceptional. There was an autumn fair 
in Marlborough coinciding with the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions, 

but usually the boys jomed in the fun of the fair (Stedman, op. cit, 
p. 45). 
56 WRO 1368/92. 



ruary 1721), and there was, of course, no remunera- 
tion or clerical help attached to the job. 

Thomas Smith was not a J. P., but on two occasions 
in 1722 (17 August and 26 October) he joined the 
Justices for dinner at Melksham or Bradford during 
Petty sessions. On the former occasion he mentions 
that his business was 'to complain of the Badness of 
the high Ways'. 

As a Wiltshire householder of substance, Smith had 
occasionally to break out of his normal routine and 
travel to Wilton or Salisbury. Sir Richard How and 
Robert Hyde had been elected as M.P.s by the 
Knights of the Shire, in the Tory interest, ever since 
1702, and it is clear that Thomas Smith supported 
them. But by March 1722 Mr Hyde was reported to 
be 'both Antient and infirm', and Smith attended a 
meeting in Marlborough to nominate a successor in 
case of Hyde's death. The candidate agreed upon was 
Richard Goddard of Swindon. On 10 April the polling 
took place at Wilton; Hyde was still alive, and he and 
How were again returned unopposed. A few weeks 
later, Hyde was dead, and Smith was among those 
who lobbied for the election of Goddard to replace 
him. His account of a visit by Goddard's friend Mr 
Greenway, who was lobbying on his behalf (2 May), 
mentions an interesting detail: the clergy of the 
neighbourhood had a regular monthly dinner at the 
George, Melksham, attended on this occasion by Mr 
Greenway and Talbot of Lacock. In the event, when 
Smith travelled down to Wilton in November for the 
election, Goddard was returned unopposed. Twice, in 
March 1720 and March 1721, Smith spent several 
days in Salisbury for the assizes, sitting as a member 
of the Grand Jury. 57 In 1720 he comments that there 
were 'many inconsiderable Bills for small Offences 
and not many for Felony': only two men had been 
sentenced to death, both for stealing horses. In 1721 
there were four death sentences, 'three for robbing on 
the high Way and one Horse Stealer' (16 March 1720, 
15 March 1721). 

Farm and Estate Management 

Far more demanding on the diarist's time than the 
occasional calls of public service was the management 
of the farm and estates. The home farm at Shaw, 
amounting in 1701 to over 120 acres, 58 was a constant 

interest. The high point each year was hay-making, 
when for days on end he was busy with his 'Mowers 
and Hay-makers'. In a good year like 1721 the 
hay-making could be completed in about a week (see 
19-26 June); more often it would be interrupted by 
rain, in which case it could take most of the last 
fortnight of June and the first week of July. 59 The 
grain harvest was a less notable event, but he men- 
tions it three times: 29 August 1716 ('attending my 
Harvest People'), 12 August 1721 ('attending my little 
Harvest'), and 25 August 1722 ('I was at Home with 
my little Harvest which I brought in this Day'). Other 
scattered references show that in 1715-16 farmer 
Pound wintered sheep on Smith's land (24 February 
1716); that he was bargaining with a butcher on 19 
September 1720 for the sale of his fat cattle and with 
one Thomas Gale on 4 June 1722 for that of his fat 
lambs; and that in autumn 1716 he spent two days 
'attending Syder making' (28-9 September). 
Improvements mentioned include levelling a hedge in 
the Home Ground (12 November 1715), well-digging 
(24-6 August 1719), digging for marl (September - 
December 1721), 'throwing Mud' in the lower pond 
(5-9 October 1722), and planting ashes in a coppice (8 
March 1723). These all involved supervision of 'work- 
men', but he never tells us the numbers employed or 
what they were paid. 

The 135 acres at Rhotteridge (only two miles 
north-east of Melksham) were leased to one Edward 
Gibbs, 60 but from time to time he visits it to supervise 
workmen, though without ever specifying the 
improvements in hand. In October 17' 8 Smith 
extended his local property by the purchase of part of 
Daniel's Wood (north of the road from Beanacre to 
Whitley), 6 ' and in April 1720 he had workmen 
employed there, perhaps in clearing and fencing. He 
enjoyed walking and shooting in it, but was also able 
to make something from the timber, since in 
December 1719 we find him arranging to sell William 
Cundick 'the Cut' of his part of the wood. 

Littlecote Farm in Hilmarton (3 miles north-east of 
Calne) was near enough for him to ride there and back 
easily in a day, as he did on 23 September 1719, 
staying for two hours 'to see the Repaires etc'. Two 
thirds of the property had been included in the 
marriage portion of Thomas Smith's mother-in-law, 



For the method of selecting jurors for the assizes see J. P.M. Fowle, 
(ed.), Wiltshire Quarter Sessions and Assizes, 1736, Wiltshire Record 
Soc. xi, 1956, p. lxii. Thomas Smith's name can be seen in the 
'Jurors Books' which survive for 1707 and 1712, and that of his son 
John in that for 1725 (WRO A 1/265/1-3). 
WRO 529/11 of 18 December 1701. 

59 Intensive periods of hay-making figuring in the diary are: 
1716:22 June- 5 July;1717: 18 June- 5 July; 1721: 19 -26 June; 
1722: 18 June - 2 July. Comparable modern dates would be 1 1 days 
later because of the adjustment to the calendar in 1752. 

60 WRO 529/11 of 5 June 1718. 

61 The diary records that the deeds were signed on 28 October 1718. 



Margaret Webb, and in 1716 he reluctantly bought 
the remaining third part from his wife's uncle, John 
Tuck, who was in financial difficulties. 62 Visiting his 
scattered properties in Somerset and Dorset involved 
longer journeys and often overnight stays, 
accounting, over the seven and a half years of the 
diary period, for seventy-nine days and forty -five 
nights away. 

The properties at Bollow, or Great Bollow, near 
Frome (estimated at 206 acres in 1695) 63 were about 
15 miles from Shaw, and even there Smith frequen- 
tly rode to and fro in a day to visit his tenants 
(though on 14 November 1716 he lodged at the 
George in Frome). In the winter of 1717 he made the 
day-trip four times in a month, the last being on 30 
December, when bad weather forced him to adjourn 
to Frome for negotiations, and he did not leave for 
home until after sunset. The reason for these fre- 
quent visits was that he was planning to sell the 
property. The negotiations dragged on from March 
1717 to June 1718, and during this period he made 
eleven visits. Even when, after many inconclusive 
meetings, he had finally agreed a figure for the sale, 
and rode over to Bath to sign the conveyance, he met 
a further difficulty: the purchaser expected him to 
take the money in specie, which Smith refused to do 
(presumably because of the danger of highwaymen). 
He therefore had to ride home again empty-handed 
and make another visit to Somerset three days later, 
when he received the purchase price 'in Bills and 
Money' (16 June 1718). 

Visiting the properties at Norwood Lodge, 
Badminton, near Glastonbury (Somerset) and the 
Manors of Tollar Wylme and Catscliffe, near Beamin- 
ster (Dorset) always involved overnight stays: at 
Glastonbury he would put up at the White Hart or the 
Rose and Crown, and when visiting the Dorset 
properties he stayed sometimes with his tenant Dr 
Pollard of Croscombe near Bridport, 64 and sometimes 
in Sherborne, Bridport, Beaminster, Bruton, or 
Shepton Mallet. From 1717 to 1721 he was involved 
in much troublesome business in connection with the 
Glastonbury property, and the details give some idea 
of how exacting the management of his estates could 
be. The first difficulty was that the tenant, Mr 
Palmer, had got into financial difficulties. He came to 
see Smith on 24 September 1717, telling him that 'all 
his Effects' were threatened with seizure for arrears of 
rent (presumably due to some other creditor). They 

went together to Nonsuch to consult Mr Norris, and 
the danger seems to have been averted for the time 
being. But on Sunday 22 October 1721 Mr Paradice of 
Devizes Green called to inform Smith that Palmer's 
stock had been seized and that all the arrears owing to 
Smith were likely to be lost unless immediate action 
was taken. So Smith at once mounted his horse and 
rode to Badminton - excusing himself for the breach 
of the Sabbath - where he found the report true, but 
the stock not yet actually removed. So he rode back to 
Bath, staying the night with his mother-in-law, and 
rode again to Badminton the next day. After a long 
wait, as the tenant failed to appear, Smith formally 
made seizure of 20 oxen and went back to Glaston- 
bury, where he put up at the Rose and Crown for two 
nights while he started negotiations for a new tenant, 
before riding home on the Wednesday. After a further 
visit and discussions on 30 and 31 October, he agreed 
not to sell the oxen, but entrusted them to Palmer's 
brother-in-law, Mr Walter, he promising to deliver 
them on demand. On 1 November, after further 
negotiations about the tenancy, Smith rode home; but 
on the following Sunday Palmer and his son turned up 
at Shaw (not daring to travel on a weekday for fear of 
arrest), and on the Monday Smith was off to Badmin- 
ton again. The negotiations took several days, but on 
the Wednesday he was able to arrange with a Mr 
Brookman and his son-in-law Fussell to buy the oxen 
and take the lease of the estate; and on the Thursday 
he rode home and went early to bed, 'Much tir'd with 
my journy but well pleas'd that I have, I hope, well 
finish'd this troublesome Business'. 

The other difficulty at Norwood Lodge was that the 
Glastonbury overseers of the poor were claiming that 
Norwood should contribute to the poor-rates of Glas- 
tonbury, which Smith and his fellow-proprietors of 
Norwood Park claimed had never been done in the 
past and was unjustified. On 1 October 1719 he went 
to Bruton to consult his fellow-proprietors. The 
dispute led to a law-suit between the proprietors and 
the parish officers, and in April 1720 Smith had to go 
down to Taunton to appear at the assizes. After 
consultations on 4 and 5 April, and fruitless waiting at 
the Court for the whole of the next two days, the case 
was finally brought forward on the 8th: the jury found 
that a warrant of distress procured by the Glastonbury 
overseers was 'not sufficient in Law', and the judge 
(Mr Aland Fortescue) ordered a verdict to be given 
for the proprietors 'without ever entering into the 

62 One sixth on 6 February, one sixth on 1 August. 

63 WRO 529/25 of 6 June 1695. 

64 The Revd John Pollard, D.D., Rector of Croscombe from 1681 

(Alumni Oxonienses). Smith had granted him a 99 vear lease of.the 
Manor in 1713 (WRO 529/26 of 25 March 1713). ' 



Merits of the Cause'. 65 Next day, after paying the 
witnesses £30 for their time, horse-hire, and expenses, 
Smith rode home, calling on the way at Somerton and 

Although they had won their law-suit, it seems that 
the proprietors failed to perpetuate the exclusion of 
Norwood Park; for on 10 April 1721 the diarist 
writes: 'This Morning between Nine and ten I took 
Horse for Glaston to be at the passing the Ac'ts of the 
Overseers and Church Wardens, this being the first 
that has been since Norwood has been brought to pay 
the Poor Rates of St Johns Glaston'. After dining at 
the White Hart with Mr Martin (his lawyer) and 
Palmer the tenant, he attended the parish meeting, at 
which there was 'much Wrangling about the 
Accompts', and at about 3 p.m. left for Evilchester 
(Ilchester), where he lodged before going on to visit 
Catsley. He made another two-day visit to Glaston- 
bury in Easter week 1722 (26-7 March) and noted 
that the parish accounts had been passed 'after some 
Wrangling there Where there is great Cause for 

The most distant of Smith's west country proper- 
ties were at Tollar Wylme and Catscliffe (Catsley) 
near Beaminster. His practice was to visit them soon 
after Lady Day (25 March) each year to collect rents 
and do other business with tenants. In 1720 his visit 
was longer than usual, owing to the recent death of a 
Mrs Game, 'who by her Widowhood held a Tenement 
of mine the Copy of which was granted in the 
beginning or middle of King James I's Reign'. On 30 
March he rode to Sherborne, and on the morrow went 
on to Catsley, 'where receiving my chief Rents I had 
several Bidders for the Bargain that was Mrs Games 
but did not agree with any'. He lodged with Dr 
Pollard at Croscombe, first visiting Tollar 'to see how 
Matters stood there'. On 1 April he bargained with 
one Mr Penny for the lease of 'Mrs Games Living', 
and on his way home visited 'young Mr Wickham' of 
Frome to draw the leases, but found him out. It was 
10 p.m. before he reached home, 'exceeding Wea- 
ry'. 66 On 18 April he rode once more to Frome, and 
this time was able to do business with 'young Wick- 

ham the Lawer', and he records no further visit to the 
Dorset properties till April 1721, when he concluded 
the deal with Ezekiel Pope, and again spent four days 
away, staying one night in Bridport, the second with 
Dr Pollard, and the third at Bruton. 67 Curiously 
enough, both on this visit and the similar one in 1722 
he mentions that the letter informing his tenants of his 
coming has 'miscarried', causing him to stay over for 
an extra night. 

Finally, and still more remote, there was the Rec- 
tory and Manor of Kinnerley, near Shrewsbury (Sal- 
op). 68 This he never visited during the diary period; 
but his tenant Edward Paine came to Shaw several 
times, e.g. July 1719 (when he apparently stayed from 
the 2nd to 9th), and 4 July 1722. On the latter 
occasion, when Smith came in about 10 p.m. he found 
Paine waiting for him, and he spent most of the 
lollowing day at home with him 'having much 
Discourse with him concerning some Dispute 
between Sir John Bridgeman and him of a piece of 
commonable Land lying near Kinnerly, whether in 
that Parish or Knuckin which is Sir John's Mannor'. 
Mr Paine left the next morning, but there is no 
indication of the outcome of the dispute. 

Apart from visiting his landed properties, Smith 
must have devoted many hours at home to accounts 
and correspondence about these and other properties, 
such as the houses which he owned and let to Thomas 
Long in Melksham and Stephen Hillman in 
Devizes. 69 He was also involved from time to time in 
transactions concerning his mother-in-law's estate at 
Great Somerford, and this gives another indication of 
his stamina as a traveller; for on 14 July 1719 he rode 
to Winchester and back (starting at 7 a.m. and 
returning by 6 p.m.) for what proved to be fruitless 
negotiations. Altogether, estate management for 
Thomas Smith was no sinecure. The diary gives no 
indication that he ever employed an agent or bailiff to 
help him. That he took a servant with him on these 
and similar journeys on horseback is seldom recorded, 
but can be assumed as the general practice from 
several incidental references. A clear example is in the 
entry for 13 February 1723: he had ridden to 

65 The scanty surviving records of the Taunton assizes (PRO, 
ASSI/24/39) do not appear to contain any reference to this case, and 
it is not clear just what the charge was. 

66 Diary 5 March and 30 March - 1 April 1720; cp. WRO 529/25 of 1 
September 1664, where a survey shows Mary Game, widow, as 
paying £1-18-8 p. a. for the rent of a tenement settled on the lives of 
herself and her brother. 

67 cp. WRO 529/26 of 14 April 1721 (the agreement with Ezekiel 
Pope), showing that Pope paid £120 for the 99 year lease of two 
houses and 50 acres of land, secured on the lives of himself, his 
father, and his 3-year old son John, promising to pay £2-8-4 p. a. 

rent and £4 in lieu of two herriots on John's death. A survey of the 
whole property in 1734 totalled 508 acres (WRO 529/28). • 

68 A list of sales in the Jackson papers (Soc. Antiqu., s.v. Melksham) 
states that the parsonage was sold by Robert Neale in 1769 for 
£8,150, having been bought by a Smith of Frome in 1671 for 
£1,800. The details of purchase do not quite tally with the Neale 
records (p. 63); but the price may well be authentic, and if so 
throws an interesting light on land values. 

69 A hint of this is given on 10 November 1721: in the Morning I was 
seeing my Affairs'. For references to Long, see Note 37, above, and 
Hillman: diary, 28 November 1716. 



Swindon, lodged with Mr Anthony Goddard, and was 
to proceed towards London later in the day; mean- 
while he 'took the Air' with another guest in God- 
dard's coach, 'when I had dispatcht my Servant and 
Horses Home'. The presence of a servant is also 
implied on 30 October 1721, when he rode from home 
to Norwood Lodge, arriving about 1 p.m., stayed 
there till night, and then walked to his quarters in 
Glastonbury; also on 1 April 1720, when he rode 
home from Frome 'after a small Refreshment for 
myself and Horses' (my italics). 70 

Outdoor Pursuits 

While estate management was time-consuming and 
often exacting, it should not be thought that Smith 
found his long rides irksome; for it is evident that 
outdoor exercise, especially in field sports, was one of 
his abiding sources of enjoyment, and accounted for a 
great deal of his time when at home. A few random 
examples from the diary will illustrate this. 

Hunting he enjoyed when occasion served, depend- 
ing for it on packs of hounds kept by several of his 
friends. On 16 September 1715, when he was in 
company with his friends at Jacob Selfe's, there was 
'much talk concerning Sr Wm Windhams escape from 
the Messengers, and the Proclamation for appre- 
hending him, and of the Insurrection in Scotland; but 
more I think concerning Mr Calthorp Long his 
meeting Mr Harding, the Mr Griffin's before men- 
tion'd and Capt Selfe hunting in Blackburys Brake, 
giving them many hard words and forbidding them 
ever to hunt there etc.; all which and their withdraw- 
ing thereupon gave the Company much Merriment'. 
On 11 March 1719, when Mr Webb of Monkton 
Farleigh has stayed the night at Shaw House - 'Mr 
Webb having sent for his Hounds to meet him this 
Morning, We set out pretty early and had good Sport 
in the Field: and in the afternoon walk'd to Bro. 
Selfes where we tarry 'd about two Hours'. On 28 
October 1719: 'Being willing to have some Exercise I 
rode out and by Accident met with Mr Webbs 
Hounds and stay'd with them some time but without 
Sport so upon his great Importunity and being near 
his House I went with him and stay'd some time so 
that 'twas Night before I return'd to my own House'. 
On 13 November 1721: 'In the Morning early I took 
Horse to have met with Mr Seymour a hunting, but 
going the wrong Way fail'd in my Design, but in my 
Absence a Messenger came from him, so at my 
Return I went into Atford-Field to him and several 

others, there being by Accident several Packs of Dogs 
met together: we had but little Sport and I soon 
return'd Home'. On 7 December 1722: 'I met Mr 
Seymour a hunting this Morn: where we tarri'd 'till 
about one haveing had a very pretty Chace'. What 
they chased, he never mentions; but at this date it was 
more likely to be a hare than a fox. 

On 23 January 1719, when Sir William Hanham 
was staying at Shaw for a few days, the diarist writes: 
'In the Morning we went out with Sir Wm. Hanham's 
Grey hounds', and on two other occasions he men- 
tions coursing on horseback with a neighbour's grey- 
hounds (13 February 1722 and 14 November 1722). 

The diarist's method gives no clear picture of the 
contents of his stable; but buying and selling of horses 
crops up quite frequently, for example, in May 1718, 
when he visits Chippenham fair (6 May) to look for a 
'pad' for his wife, and succeeds in buying one later (22 
May) at 'Sadbury fair' (probably Chipping Sodbury). 
Chilmark fair (21 July 1718) and Melksham fair (17 
July 1721) are also visited in search of horses, and one 
Peacock of Christian Malford in March 1719 has had 
one of Smith's horses for three months to cure it of the 
'Poll Evil'. 71 On the whole the stable seems more 
limited than one might have expected. Part of the 
reason may be that the Smith and Selfe families often 
shared transport when visiting, as when they went to 
stay at Lucknam on 24 October 1717, or when Smith 
went with 'Brother Selfe' to dine with Webb at 
Monkton Farleigh in Selfe's chariot (16 November 

By far the most frequent references to sport in the 
diary are to shooting. Scarcely a week passes in the 
autumn and winter months without one or more 
entries such as 'walk'd out with my Gun'. Unfor- 
tunately, Smith hardly ever mentions what he shot, or 
hoped to shoot. Once (30 August 1721) he records 
walking in the grounds with a friend 'to try if we 
could find a Hare', and once (21 October 1718) he 
notes that he killed a woodcock in Daniel's wood, the 
first that he had seen that year. 72 His favourite field 
sport was undoubtedly what he calls 'setting', that is, 
shooting partridge or other game-birds with the aid of 
a setting dog, or setter, to stalk the birds. This sport 
he enjoyed almost daily from late July till mid- 
September. He is occasionally on horseback, but 
usually on foot, alone or with his neighbour William 
Cundick or some other friend. His setter is a prized 
possession, and in February 1719 he sends the dog 
over to 'Nicholls the Horse rider' to try and cure it of 

70 And cp. 19 April 1716 and 19 October 1721. 

71 An ulcerous sore between the ligament and the first bone in a 

horse's neck {OED). 
72 Woodcock are migrants, arriving about Michaelmas. 



its habit of 'baulking the Birds'. Once (31 July 1719) 
he mentions nets: if, as the passage implies, nets and 
setter were used together, it might have been to catch 

That partridges were the principal quarry can be 
inferred from an entry of 11 August 1716: 'in the 
Afternoon I went a Setting, but had no Success; the 
Breed of Partridges in our Parts being almost 
destroy'd, I suppose, in the last Great Snow'. The first 
and last dates when setting is chronicled are inter- 

1716: 3 August - 
12 September 

1717: 29 July - 

6 September 

(1718: gap in diary) 

1719: 21 July- 

19 September 

1720: (gap) 

a few mentions 

9-13 September 
1721: 27 July - 

15 September 
1722: 31 July - 

15 September 

The start of the season was doubtless dictated by the 
need to wait till the fledgelings were fully grown, 
though it seems surprisingly early in the year (par- 
tridge shooting now starts on 1 September), even 
bearing in mind the change in calendar (note 59 
above); but the end of the season seems to have been 
equally definite, for on 19 September 1719 he notes: 'I 
was out an Hour or two With my setting Dog this 
afternoon, but to little Purpose, the Season for that 
Diversion being near over' (cp. a similar note on 25 
September 1722). The reason for failure at this time 
would presumably be the increased speed and wari- 
ness of the birds. Sometimes William Cundick (prob- 
ably a neighbouring farmer or yeoman) took Jacky 
and Walter shooting, and after one such shoot (8 
January 1718) he came back to the house afterwards 
and 'smok'd a Pipe' with their father. 

There are several mentions of horse-racing. On a 
Whitsunday ( 1 June 1718) the two boys were taken by 
'Coz. Norris' to Lavington 'to show thim the Race', 
and the Norrises went there again on the Whit 
Monday. On 4 October 1721 Mr Webb of Monkton 
Farleigh took Smith to see a race on Clarken Down, 73 
and he records that it was run for a prize of £40 in two 
'heats', the same horse winning both. But when Peggy 
was taken to see a race (29 May 1722) it was 'on 
Warminster Downs'. 

Occasionally he mentions walking, for example 
with the two boys (12 January 1717), with his wife (23 
February 1716), or just with his dog (29 September 

1719); but it is probable that walking, unlike riding, 
was mostly regarded as an adjunct to shooting, actual 
or prospective, rather than as pleasurable exercise in 


The limitations of our diarist's method prevent him 
from giving a complete picture of daily life, such as we 
can get from Pepys or Evelyn; but such light as it does 
shed is perhaps the more reliable for being unde- 

Meals and Social Customs 

As we should expect, the main meal of the day was 
dinner, and it firmly divides the morning activities of 
Smith and his friends from those of the afternoon and 
evening. The diarist seldom mentions the time of 
dinner, but there are a few pointers: on one occasion 
Mr Seymour called about one o'clock, 'and took such 
a Dinner as we had' (19 November 1722); and another 
time Smith visited 'Mr Long of the Bridge', and was 
surprised to find the company still at table as late as 
four o'clock, they having had a child baptized, (22 
March 1716). Moreover, he often mentions people 
calling at about three o'clock. It is probable, there- 
fore, that the normal hour for dinner in Smith's circle 
was between one and two. He occasionally mentions 
drinking a dish of tea or coffee in the morning with 
friends, as when Dr Avery and Mr Norris came from 
Beanacre 'early in the Morning, drank a Dish of Tea 
with us and return'd to Dinner' (3 April 1716), and 
sometimes the 'dish of tea' seems to be synonymous 
with breakfast (7 August 1722, after a night at 
Lucknam), or to be its chief feature (e.g. 20 October 
1722, also at Lucknam). Even vaguer are the occa- 
sional mentions of supper, such as 13 July 1717, when 
'In the Evening Young Mr Coxeter was here and 
sup'd with us'. He hardly ever tells us what they ate, 
except when the present of a haunch of venison to 
himself or a friend was the occasion for a special 
dinner-party. The dates of these venison feasts are 
mostly in July and August, with one as early as 14 
June and one as late as 16 November (both 1722). At 
one such dinner, when the diarist was host, the 
venison 'prov'd faulty through the extream Heat of 
the Season' (20 July 1719). 

Smoking occurs occasionally, always in male 
society, such as that of William Cundick, already 
mentioned, or the landlord of his Sherborne inn (29 

73 Not identified: probably in the Bath - Monkton Farleigh area. 



April 1718), or one afternoon at home, when Brother 
Selfe and Edmund Lewes of Broughton called and 
'stay'd the smoking two or three Pipes of Tobacco' (14 
March 1716). 

After dinner parties there was sometimes dancing, 
particularly when there were young people in the 
company. In one instance he mentions that a fiddler 
was procured (11 September 1722). Sometimes they 
passed the evening at cards (e.g. 26 November 1719, 
when Dr Cheyne from Bath was staying at Shaw). But 
more often the implication is that drinking and 
conversation were the principal after-dinner pastimes. 

Twice he went with Brother Selfe and others to 
Melksham to see some 'strolling Actors' perform (10 
July 1717 and 9 June 1721), commenting on the latter 
occasion that they went on till nearly twelve, 'I cannot 
say to any satisfaction of Mine'. The only other 
reference to the theatre was when he was staying in 
London and spent an evening 'at the Play-House' (20 
February 1723). The Melksham Fair is regularly 
mentioned on 16 July, a typical comment being: 'this 
being Melksham Fair-day Several Persons call'd here, 
but stay'd not long, and we had not one more thin our 
own Family din'd with us besides in the Kitchen' 
(1719). On 2 January 1720 he notes 'the Customary 
Visit of the Melksham Ringers'. 

Four times the diarist mentions convivial gather- 
ings at a friend's house at 'Gossiping Time', or 'to 
drink some of his Gossipping Ale' (21 March 1721). 
The reference is to gatherings of friends to celebrate 
the birth of a child; and on three of the four occasions 
the Parish Registers show that the host indeed had a 
child baptized shortly before or after the date of the 
diary entry; in one case the register adds the date of 
birth, and in this case at least the 'gossipping' cele- 
bration was between the date of the child's birth and 
the christening. 74 

On the whole, Thomas Smith's social relations were 
narrowly confined to people of his own class. There 
were landed gentry (many from families which had 
risen from being prosperous tradesmen, especially 
clothiers, not long before); there were professional 
men - clergy, lawyers, and doctors; and there was the 
occasional army officer. Twice, however, the diary 

shows him stepping outside the normal boundaries of 
social intercourse. On 1 October 1717 he and Brother 
Selfe accepted an invitation to the 'Bayliffs Feast in 
Chippenham, Mr Colbourn the present Bayliff being 
the Tradesman that serves us with Candles etc'; but 
he noted that there were present 'but few of the 
Gentlemen of the Country, no more being invited 
than deal with him'; and on 23 January 1722 he 
attended a large party in Melksham at the house of 
John Glass his maltster, to celebrate Glass's second 
marriage: Mr Jacob Selfe, Mr Long, and several 
others of his customers were also present. 7 " 1 On the 
other hand it is clear that tenants and others who came 
on business to Shaw often dined with the family, as 
did apothecaries (e.g. 5 February 1717 and 12 April 
1720). It is also interesting to find that when he dines 
with the Talbots at Lacock (28 November 1717) after 
the christening of their infant son, the company 
includes not only the parson but the midwife, 'one 
Mrs Barnes', who has attended Mrs Talbot. 

Illness and its Treatment 

There are many references in the diary to illness, both 
major and minor, from which some general conclu- 
sions can be drawn. When anyone in the Smith 
household needed medical treatment, the usual pro- 
cedure was to call in an apothecary, generally Mr 
Harris of Bradford on Avon. In February 1717, when 
their cook-maid was dangerously ill, Mr Harris called 
four times in a week, and even slept at Shaw House 
one night. Mr Harris also called to treat Smith himself 
and his wife and children for minor ailments; but in 
1719 and 1720, when his wife had a serious illness 
from which she eventually died, Smith consulted Dr 
Cheyne from Bath, who seems also to have been a 
family friend. On 25 November 1719 Dr Cheyne 
came from Bath 'to make my Wife a Visit'; two days 
later the diary records that 'Harris our Apothecary' 
came at about 10 a.m. and later Dr Cheyne departed, 
having presumably given the local man instructions 
for further treatment. Not that it was necessary to go 
to Bath for a physician, for when Brother Selfe's 
daughter Penelope was on her deathbed, suffering 
from violent headaches and 'a kind of Lethargick 

74 'Gossiping', originally a christening or christening least, later came 
to mean 'a meeting of friends and acquaintances, especially at the 
birth of a child' (OED). The details relating to the diary entries 
Elizabeth, dr. of Thomas Long, Melksham: 

born 17 February 1716; baptized 22 March; 

gossipping party 8 March. 
Mary, dr. of Henry Coulthurst, Melksham: 

baptized 31 January 1717; gossipping 

party 7 February. 
Mary, dr. of Paul Methuen, Bradford: 

baptized 14 June 1721, and 
Mary, dr. of Thomas Methuen, Bradford, 

baptized 19 June 1721; gossipping 

party 7 June. 
75 John Glass had been churchwarden 1719-21, and it was at his- 
house that Smith met Brother Selfe and others to discuss parish 
business on 16 March 1722. 



Stupidness', Dr Merewether of Devizes attended her 
(15 May 1718). Many of the references to illness 
suggest what would now be considered crude diag- 
noses and remedies. In February 1720 the diarist 
suffered from 'the Ague', which Mr Harris treated 
with cordial water and 'the Bark' (quinine); earlier, he 
is reported as giving Mrs Smith 'a Vomit', and when 
Peggy had a 'great Cold and swell'd Face' he applied a 
'Blister' (9-11 June 1721). In 1722, when Smith was 
afflicted with head pains, dizziness, and numbness in 
toes and fingers, he records that 'Mr Allen the 
Apothecary of Devizes' came and bled him, 'being the 
first time I ever had the TryaP (24 November 1722). 
There are many references to smallpox, which, 
before the discovery of vaccination, was a deadly 
enemy always lurking in towns and cities. In 1718 
Mrs Smith had to meet her mother at Kingsdown, not 
daring to go to her house in Bath, 'the Servant Maid 
lately being down in the small Pox' ( 18 June 1718). In 
December 1719, Brother Selfe's son Lucas caught 
smallpox in Bristol, and was dangerously ill for 
several weeks, attended by Drs Lane and Cooke; the 
diarist visited him, and found him 'disorder'd in his 
Head', but the doctors hopeful of his recovery; and he 
did recover, and lived to act as his father's executor in 
1733. 76 That Thomas Smith had himself had small- 
pox before the diary period is suggested by this 
episode, and also by an entry of 19 October 1721, 
when he had business in Devizes and rode there 
alone, not daring to have a servant with him, as 
neither of his had ever had the smallpox. One curious 
sidelight on medical diet occurs on 23 March 1717, 
when Mr Selfe of Bromham borrows the diarist's 
'milch'd Ass' for his sick father-in-law. 

Music, Literature, and the Arts 

Thomas Smith's circle did their best, as we have seen, 
to keep abreast of the news emanating from London. 
In contrast, there is little evidence that they shared 
the interest that their London contemporaries took in 
the arts and literature. We have mentioned the visits 
paid by Mr Priest of Bath to teach Betsy music. Apart 
from this, the only references to music are to some 
amateur music-making: when Smith was staying with 
his mother-in-law in Bath (17 May 1721) he visited Dr 
Cheyne after dinner, hearing some songs sung by a 
Mr Gordon, with 'one Mrs Lindsay that keeps the 
Gaming House in Bath'; and on 19 July 1721, after 
calling on Mr Ernie at Whetham, he was entertained 

by 'one Gourdon', described as 'a Scotch Gent that 
sings very finely', who sang Italian songs, being joined 
for part of the time by 'Mr Ernie's Gent, Mr Far- 
well'. 77 On 3 July 1722, when Smith took his two 
daughters to dine with Mr Harrington, the parson of 
Kington, they were 'very civilly entertain'd and had 
much Musick'. There must have been a keyboard 
instrument at Shaw House, but the only reference to 
it is a vague one (14 August 1719) when Mr Ash of 
Woolly visits them 'purposely to play on the Musick 
with Bet'. Of books other than the Bible there is, I 
think, no mention in the diary. 

The diary is equally silent about pictures. This is 
the more tantalising since it is known that Shaw 
House had a fine collection of family portraits, includ- 
ing some of the diarist and his family which were 
painted in his lifetime and probably commissioned by 
him. The collection included portraits of Daniel 
Webb (by Kneller), of Margaret his wife (the diarist's 
mother-in-law), of Thomas Smith himself and his 
wife Elizabeth, and of their children Elizabeth, John, 
Margaret, and Anne (who died in 1714, aged 8). 
These were still in the collection of J. A. Neale, in 
Corsham or London, in 1927. After his death in 1930 
the collection was dispersed, and it has so far proved 
impossible to trace the present location of any of the 
portraits mentioned. 78 


From the diarist's notes on the engagement and 
dismissal of servants and other sporadic references to 
them we can form a fairly clear picture of his domestic 
establishment, though the gaps in the diary prevent it 
from being complete. The male servants consisted of a 
coachman, paid £5 or £6 a year plus livery; a man- 
servant (often referred to as 'my Boy') whose wages 
vary from £3 to £6 with livery; and a gardener, 
mentioned only once and then paid the surprisingly 
high wage of £10 a year (30 November 1717). The 
post of coachman was an important and responsible 
one, and not easy to fill satisfactorily. On 29 August 
1721, when Robert Gale had left suddenly on account 
of the death of his brother, Smith went to Bath, to 
visit his mother-in-law 'and at the same time made 
Tryal of a new Coach-Man that offers his Service'; but 
on the next day the trial coachman left, as they could 
not agree on terms, and 'he not being as I think very 
fit for our Service'. A few days later, (4 September) 
Smith bargained with 'one Thomas Bridgeman from 

76 WRO 1742/4831. 

77 For Ernie, see Footnote 37. 

78 Neale, p. 81, Supp. pp. 49 and 65. The portrait of Daniel Webb, 
by Kneller, was illustrated in The Connoisseur, November 1924. 



Clack' (in Lyneham, north Wiltshire) to serve as 
'Coach-man etc' till Lady-day for £3, and 'if we like at 
that Time and we go on farther he is to have £6 and a 
Livery as usual'. On 10 September Thomas 
Bridgeman started work, but the diarist found him a 
doubtful prospect, 'his Behaviour being but very 
indifferent this very Day'. However, he seems to have 
survived his probationary period: for not only is there 
no mention of another coachman being engaged, but 
in 1723 it was 'Thomas' who drove John to Oxford 
and returned to report his safe arrival (2 February); 
and a Thomas Bridgeman witnessed Smith's will in 
April 1723. 79 Bridgeman was the seventh coachman 
to be mentioned in the seven and a half years spanned 
by the diary; and the turn-over of men-servants was 
similarly high. 80 

There are occasional glimpses of a man-servant's 
relations with the master. On 24 January 1719 we read 
that 'in the Evening I had a great Quarrel with my 
Servant Benjamin, so that it came to Blows, for telling 
me and obstinately defending a plain Lye'; and on 31 
July 1719, when he was at dinner at Nonsuch, his 
servant Frank (who had accompanied him) took and 
used his setter and nets without his knowledge, so 
that 'at his Return a Notable Fray was between us, 
and for this and some other Misdemeanours he is to 
leave my Service to Morrow'. John Acreman lasted 
for two and a half years; but once (1 August 1721) he 
was 'most beastly drunk and after a shameful Manner 
behav'd himself when he came Home'. 

The female servants are less easy to categorize, 
partly because they are often referred to only by their 
Christian names. There are frequent references to a 
'Cook-maid' (paid £4 p. a. in 1721 and 1722) and an 
'upper Maid' (paid £3 - 5s in 1722). Jane Calway, who 
came as cook-maid on 24 August 1721, returned home 
the next day 'very Sick' (probably homesick?), but 
came back two days later, and was still in Smith's 
service on 10 May 1722, when she married Isaac Jones 
and had her wedding dinner at Shaw House. 81 There 
is one mention of a dairy-maid, who must also have 
lived in, for on 7 March 1717 Dorothy the dairy-maid 
'went from us, She having stay'd out the last two 
Nights and behav'd her Self uncivilly'. While 
certainty is impossible, the six maids who are named 
in the diary seem to fit into this establishment of 

three, of whom, as we learn from several Sunday 
entries (e.g. 4 March 1716), one was always left at 
home to look after the house while the others 
accompanied their master (and, weather permitting, 
mistress) to church. 

Methods of Travel 

The diary throws much light on the methods and 
hazards of travel in the early eighteenth century. 
Some of Smith's journeys on horseback have been 
mentioned in considering his estate-management. 
That he also rode for pleasure is indicated by an entry 
of 30 May 1718: 'in the Evening I rode out with my 
Wife to take the Air as we have done for several 
Days'. Peggy and Bet were capable of riding on one of 
their frequent journeys to Bath (e.g. 26 September 
1717, when Peggy was accompanied by 'our Kinsman 
Robin Webb'); and Watty rode to Marlborough for 
the beginning of his school term on 5 June 1722, 
though he had to turn back at Bromham owing to 
floods, and was not able to resume his journey till the 

For evening engagements, and generally when the 
older ladies were travelling, they would be driven. 
Smith had two carriages, the coach and the chariot (a 
lighter vehicle, four-wheeled but normally seating 
only two). A typical journey was that on 26 May 1719, 
when Smith and his two daughters went to stay two 
nights with his cousin Smith at Stony Littleton (near 
Radstock): Peggy and Bet travelled in the family 
coach, their father 'attending on Horse-back'. At 
Broughton Gifford they called on the Hortons; Mrs 
Horton and her daughter joined the girls in the coach, 
and Mr Horton rode with Smith. On the return 
journey two days later cousin Smith and his nephew 
rode two or three miles with the coach. On another 
occasion the coach took Dr Cheyne and his kinsman 
Mr Maitland (who had been staying at Shaw) back to 
Bath, accompanied by Smith's man Thomas on a 
much valued nag: while returning, Thomas 'let the 
Horse go from him so that he was not found till the 
Morning' (27 November 1719). The heavy coaches 
often got into difficulties on the muddy, rutted roads, 
as on 2 February 1721, when the Smith and Selfe 
families set out in two coaches to visit the Wallises at 
Lucknam: 'it being a frost yet not sufficient to bear 

79 P.C.C., proved 11 September 1723. Another witness was Betty 
Hearford, engaged as a maid (diary 4 March 1723). 

80 Coachmen: 'William' (in service September 1715, left April 1716); 
Francis Bare/Bath (11 April 1716-30 September 1717); John Kent 
(1 October 1717-26 March 1719); Richard Aland (started 27 March 
1719); 'Thomas' (in service November 1719); Robert Gale (28 
March to 25 August 1721) and Thomas Bridgeman (10 September 

1721, still in service June 1723). Men-servants: Edward Ranger (27 
December 1715 - 21 June 1716); Edward Field (engaged 9 July 
1716); Benjamin Poulsom (dismissed 26 March 1719); Francis 
Baker (26 March - 1 August 1719); John Acreman (10 August 1719 
- 25 March 1722); Jacob Poulsom (26 March 1722 - 25 March- 
1723) and Joseph Pierce ('bargain'd with', 19 March 1723). 
81 Diary, and register, St Michael's, Melksham. 



the Coaches, 'twas very troublesome travelling, so 
that Bro. Selfes Harness once broke'. A narrow escape 
from danger occurred on 17 December 1722, when 
Betsy had gone in the coach to fetch Peggy back from 
visiting the Methuens at Bradford, and on the return 
journey the coachman was drunk. 

When there were only one or two passengers it was 
more usual to take the chariot, for example on 7 May 
1716, when Peggy was driven to Bath in the morning 
and her mother returned in the evening. On one such 
journey (29 March 1716) the chariot carried four 
passengers, but this was evidently too much for it: 
'This Morning Mrs Thresher [and] Ms Norris with 
Peggy and Bet set out in my old Chariot for Nonsuch; 
in the Middle of the Common the Pearch breaking 
they walk'd to Sandridge Hill, and I being at the same 
time on Horseback by, we sent for another Conve- 
nience to Nonsuch where they arrived about two'. 82 
On another day, Brother Selfe's chariot overturned on 
the way from Nonsuch, and he was 'much bruis'd' (5 
March 1722). Moonlight was important for evening 
engagements in the winter, and on 19 November 1719 
Smith writes of a dinner at Jaggards from which he 
'did not return Home 'till ten, staying for the Moons 
Light, and my Bro Selfe's Chariot that came a very 
gentile pace and a round about Way'. 

Public transport was, of course, by stage coach, and 
the Smith family frequently made use of it when 
travelling to London or Bath. In October 1719 Betsy 
was taken up to London by Mrs Norris: on Monday 
the 12th her father took her to Nonsuch, where they 
spent the night, and on the next day the party set off 
at about 6 a.m., the Norrises and a Mr Meyer in the 
Norris's coach, Smith and his daughter in his chariot, 
to Sandy Lane, where Smith saw them safely into the 
stage coach. 83 Similarly on 2 November 1715, when 
the diarist's mother-in-law had been staying at Shaw, 
he took her to Lacock 'in order to her going to Bath 
on the Stage-Coach'. The diary gives accounts of four 
trips which Thomas Smith made to London, from 
which one can get a good idea of the times and other 
details of road travel. On 23 June 1718 he took the 
'two Days Coach' from Sandy Lane, arriving at 
Newbury after nine that night, 'having but indifferent 
Company, viz Sick and unhealthy People'. They left 

early the next morning, dined at Slough, 'call'd at the 
several Places as usually, and came to London at near 
eight'. He lodged with Mr Norris (probably at his 
chambers in the Middle Temple or Lincoln's Inn), 84 
and they, with friends, spent the three evenings of his 
stay in the Horn and Horseshoe tavern. The next trip, 
in 1720, he made on horseback. Starting at 7 a.m. on 
Tuesday 11 October, and calling at Nonsuch on the 
way, he dined with Watty at Marlborough and lodged 
that night at Thatcham. After another early start he 
rode to Maidenhead, and after stopping there for 
'above an hour', on to London in company with his 
neighbour Hurst the clothier (whom he had met on 
the road). He reached London at about six, and put 
up at 'the Angel behind St Clements . . . sufficiently 
tir'd'. On the Thursday he went with Selfe Norris 
(younger son of William) to Change Alley and to the 
South Sea House, where they 'heard the price of 
Stocks but purchas'd none'. 85 

On 1 May 1721 he again took the two-day coach 
from Sandy Lane, spent the night at Newbury, 
reached London about 9 p.m., and lodged at the 
Angel. This time he was lucky on the journey, for he 
'fortun'd to have pretty agreeable Company in both 
journeys'. On the return trip, between Slough and 
Maidenhead, they passed a tradesman of Newbury 
who, 'either by an Apoplectick fit, or disjoynting his 
Neck by the fall from his Horse, expir'd just as we 
pass'd by the Place: an Instance of the Uncertainty of 
Life and Monitor for our Behaviour in it' (8 May 
1721). For what proved to be his last visit to London, 
undertaken in February 1723 in connection with the 
presentation to a Living which Mr Goddard of 
Swindon had purchased in Smith's name, he stayed 
with Goddard on the way, left Swindon in the morn- 
ing of 14 February in Goddard's chariot, and came to 
Newbury at about five. The following afternoon he 
and the clergyman and others concerned in the busi- 
ness of presentation 'took Places in the Coach going 
for London' and stayed the night at the Bear in 
Reading. Next morning 'before it was Day' their 
coach went on, and after dinner at Slough they came 
to the Bell-Savage on Ludgate Hill at about six, a 
journey which he would have enjoyed but for increas- 
ing deafness and tooth-ache. This time he lodged at 

82 The perch was the centre pole connecting the two sets of wheels, 
later replaced by two curved iron beams: see W. Felton, Felton's 
Carnages (reprint, Evelyn, 1962). 

83 They would take the 'Old Bath Road', through Lacock and Sandy 
Lane, and over the downs to Beckhampton, part of which was 
already turnptked. The shorter route through Seend and Devizes 
was not developed until the 1750s {V.C.H. Wiltshire, IV, 1959, pp. 

257, 266). 

84 Neale (p. 62) gives William Norris as admitted to the Middle 
Temple in 1678. Deeds of 1695 etc. describe him as 'of Lincoln's 
Inn' (e.g. WRO 529/25 of 6 June 1695). 

85 Thursday's entry is scratched out, and is followed by a gap in the 
diary MS: see p. 117 above. 



the Cheshire Cheese in Arundel Street, The House of 
our late Neighbour John Breach his Son 1 . Five days 
later (22 February) his business was finished, and he 
booked a place in the Newbury coach for the next 
day. Coming down at 2 a.m. to take the coach, he 
found awaiting him a Mr Webb, the profligate 
nephew of his Monkton Farleigh friend, 'in an 
extream necessitous Condition having spent his whole 
Substance 1 . Smith does not say whether he gave the 
young man anything, but comments that he 'could 
have but little Time with him, the Coach being 
ready'. 86 They 'baited at Windsor, din'd at Reading, 
and came safe to Newbury at 7'. On the 24th, which 
was a Sunday, he and a fellow-traveller 'took Horse 
for Home'. Their ways parted soon after Froxfield, 
and Smith rode on through heavy rain, arriving at 
seven, wet through and 'in a low Condition through 
the illness that I have had almost ever since I went 
hence' and which was what induced him 'to break the 
Rest of this Day'. 

At home, he at once felt better, and the diary shows 
that he resumed his normal activities. But shortly 

afterwards the record ends, with a note about the 
Sunday service on 24th March 1723, and four months 
later the diarist was dead. After his death a tribute to 
his memory was added to his wife's memorial in the 
parish church, and - with due allowance for the 
flowery language of the time - we may fittingly close 
with its final sentence: 

So long then as an hearty Zeale for the best Religion 
and form of Government, an unblemished Upright- 
ness & integrity, a pious and prudent economy, 
Shall continue to be esteemd and admird, so long 
must remain precious the Memory of Mr SMITH, 
ob 21 Iulij A:D: 1723 Aet: 50. 87 

Acknowledgements: I am greatly indebted to Kenneth Rogers, County 
Archivist, and John Chandler, Local Studies Librarian of the County 
Library and Museum Service, for expert advice and encouragement, 
and to the staff of the County Record Office for their friendly 
efficiency. Among many others who have helped, I would mention 
specially: Mrs Hilda Massey, archivist of St John's church, Frome; 
Mrs Barbara Harvey of Winsley; the Society's Sandell Librarian, Mrs 
Pamela Colman; and Derek Parker, who took the photographs. 

APPENDIX I: Relationship of extract in WAM 11 to diary MS 

Pages in WAM 1 1 

Pages in pamphlet 

Pages in sewn 

Dates covered 

MS pages in 


MS as marked 
by Jackson 

(yrs. 1721 etc.) 

date order 

(1) 86-90:17 





(2) 90:18-105, 204-206:7 





(3) 206:8-211:18 





(4) 211:19-217 






To read WAM 11 in date-order: read the sections noted above, but in the order (2) (1) (4) (3), bearing in mind that the period 
5.1.22-27.2.22 is missing between (2) and (1). 

It must also be remembered that the WAM extract omits (without indication) the entries for many whole days, and also - within 
entries which are transcribed - much detail, especially proper names. 

86 But on 6 March Smith went over to see Daniel Webb about his 
destitute kinsman. This 'Robert' is presumably the young man who 
figures earlier as 'our Kinsman Robin Webb', e.g. riding from Bath 
with Peggy (26 September 1717), and staying at Shaw House 

together with 'another Spark of his Acquaintance' (30 June 1718). 
87 The full inscription is given in Jackson's article {WAM 11, p. 84); 
see also Figure 3. 


APPENDIX II: Dates covered by and gaps in the diary MS (1715-1723) 

Pages in 


Dates covered 

date order 

1- 48 

7.9.15- 16.12.16 

23 days 


49- 60 


35 days 

27.4.17- 31.5.17 

61- 84 

1.6.17- 14.1.18 

103 days 


85- 94 


82 days 

22.7.18- 11.10.18 

95- 98 


47 days 

30.11.18- 15.1.19 



133 days 

26.4.20 - 5.9.20 


6.9.20- 12.10.20 

89 days 



10.1.21 -24.3.23 



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Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 142-146. 

The Stratigraphy of the Cretaceous Succession 
Along the A36 Warminster Bypass 


The paper describes the geological strata revealed during excavations for the Warminster bypass during 1987. The 
stratigraphical sequence is outlined, and discussed with reference to other locations in Wiltshire and Dorset. 


Warminster lies in west Wiltshire, close to the Somer- 
set border, as shown in Figure 1. A bypass to the 
south of the town was constructed during 1987, and 
during construction numerous cuttings and borrow- 
pits exposed a variety of sections in strata ranging 
from the Upper Greensand to the Lower Chalk. 
Natural sections in the beds beneath the Chalk are 
rare in Wiltshire, thus construction of the bypass gave 
a unique opportunity to study the geology of the area 
and allow a new description of the sub-Chalk suc- 


The locality and outline geology of the area are shown 
in Figure 2. From this it is seen that the bypass 
crosses the Gault to Chalk interval a number of times. 
An amalgamation of these exposures, with borehole 
data, is given in the summary of stratigraphy (Figure 
3). The logged sequence has been subdivided using 
the classical stratigraphy following Jukes-Browne and 
Hill (1900-6); Pope-Bartlett and Scanes (1916); 
Edmunds (1938); Mottram (1961) and Kennedy 

The lithologies involved are described from the 
base up. The Gault was only seen in borehole mater- 
ial, but could be divided into a lower dark claystone, 
at least 14 m thick, and an upper unit of brown 
siltstones alternating with grey mudstones, 6-7 m 
thick and developed as 1 m thick fining-up cycles. 
Washed and sieved borehole material yielded the 
foraminifera Hedbergella and Textularia chapmani of 
middle Albian age. The Malmstone consisted of 10 m 
of grey-brown massive siltstones, with chert stringers, 
and having a mottled appearance when wetted. The 
Upper Greensand was estimated to be 30-40 m thick, 
consisting of fine grey silty sands, with thin clay- 
drapes and current-ripple laminae in the lower half, 
whilst the upper half was a coarser grey-green or 
brown sand with hard calcareous and siliceous sand- 

stone bands which increased in lateral continuity up 
the sequence (Figure 3), and often had clusters of 
Exogyra obliquata and Nanogyra nana on the top. The 
trace-fossil Ophiomorpha was found in abundance in 
the middle of the Upper Greensand, whilst high angle 
cross-stratification, with common clay-drapes, was 
found throughout. The Chert Beds consisted of 
cherty sands and glauconitic siltstones. The Warmin- 
ster Greensand was a 2 m thick, calcareous and 
glauconitic silty sandstone, quite fossiliferous in 
places, with Nanogyra and Inoceramus being common 
as well as rare sponges already well known from the 
richer deposits north of Warminster (Hinde 1883), 
where the topmost bed of the Upper Greensand 
consists of a range of large calcareous and siliceous 
concretions known as the Cornstones (Kennedy 
1970). These were never discovered along the line of 
the bypass, even in boreholes that passed through the 
same horizon, and it may be concluded that the 
Cornstones disappear between north and south of 
Warminster. The Glauconitic Marl was never seen 
exposed but, from borehole records, was suggested to 
be a 1-3 m thick, glauconite-speckled grey claystone. 
The Chalk Marl was a light grey, clay-rich chalk, at 
least 20 m thick and exposed in the borrow-pits at 
both ends of the bypass; this unit was very well 
bedded, with individual beds seen to thicken towards 
the south-east, in some cases from 2 to 50 cm over a 
distance of 200 m. Ammonites found in the Chalk 
Marl included Mantelliceras saxbii (Sharpe 1857), M. 
picteti (Hyatt 1903), and Forbesiceras sp. (Kennedy 
and Hancock 1971; Wright and Kennedy 1984, Plates 
27 and 35). These early Cenomanian specimens are 
now in the possession of the Dewey Museum, War- 


Lack of exposed evidence hampers interpretation of 
the Gault. However, the fining-up cycles of the Upper 
Gault suggest deposition as a storm-dominated shelf 






10 miles 


*-" Fault, tick indicates downthrown side 

ff Lower Greensand outcrops 

(~y Gault and Upper Greensand outcrops 

County boundaries 
Lower Cretaceous Highs 

Figure 1. Regional tectonic elements and locality map 



LP \2. m LO- 

IS 73 

o J3 
J U 



B - 

c o 
Si E 

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1 1 



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Figure 3. Summary of stratigraphy along the A36 Warminster bypass 



mudstone, away from strong tidal influence. The clay- 
drapes and common bioturbation found in the Upper 
Greensand suggest tidally controlled deposition 
during a regressive or lowered sea-level phase. The 
presence of Ophiomorpha in the middle of the 
sequence (Figure 3) denotes the point of maximum 
regression, whilst from the Exogyra Bed upwards a 
gradual deepening or transgressive phase is seen as 
tidal influence decreases, and sedimentary hiatuses 
develop as sea-level rises. 


The sequence described compares well with that of 
Shaftesbury (Edmunds 1938). However, the thinner 
sequences of Maiden Bradley and Mere have the 
Cornstones (or Popple-stones) at the top of the War- 
minster Greensand, and a conglomerate at the base of 
the Chalk (Jukes-Browne 1896; Edmunds 1938). This 
suggests that the Maiden Bradley/Mere area under- 
went some erosion and sea-floor winnowing in early 
Cenomanian times, whilst deposition continued more 
or less slowly in the basinal areas of Shaftesbury and 
Warminster. Evidence to back this structural inter- 
pretation (outlined in Figure 1) comes from an exam- 
ination of the distribution of the Lower Greensand, 
which occurs in pockets (beneath the Gault) north of 
the Warminster Fault (Geological Survey Sheet 281, 
Frome), around Devizes and Seend (Casey 1961), in 
the Shrewton borehole, and south of the Mere Fault 
(Mottram 1961; Barron 1976), but nowhere is the 
Lower Greensand seen in the area between. A similar 
situation is seen at Okeford Fitzpaine in north Dorset, 
where not only is the Lower Greensand absent, but 
the base of the Gault has been shown by Casey (1955) 
to be younger than that of Dinton and Dilton Marsh, 
suggesting that some time elapsed before the Gault sea 
reached the area, and that north Dorset occupies a 
high area similar to that of Maiden Bradley and Mere. 

Acknowledgements: The author would like to thank his supervisor, 
Professor A. Hallam, and Mr S. Hart of Oxford University for 
discussion and advice in preparing the text; Mr R.D. Jenkins for 

drawing attention to the Warminster bypass; Mr J. Martin and Mr J. 
Orchard of Scott, Wilson and Kirkpatrick for allowing access to the 
site and for providing data; and Sarah Jenkins for preparing the 


BARRON, R.S., 1976 The Geolo^ of Wiltshire, Moonraker 
Press, Swindon 

CASEY, R., 1955 Notes on the base of the Gault in Wiltshire, 
Proc. Geologists' Association 66, 231-234 

1961 The stratigraphical palaeontology of the Lower 

Greensand, Palaeontology 14, 487-622 

edmunds, F.H., 1938 A contribution to the Physiography of 
the Mere District, Wiltshire, with report of field meeting. 
Proc. Geologists' Association 49, 174-195 

HlNDE, G.J., 1883 Catalogue of the fossil sponges in the 
Geological Department of the British Museum (Natural 
History), London 

HYATT, A., 1903 Pseudoceratites of the Cretaceous, edited by 
T.W. Stanton, Monograph U.S. Geological Survey 44, 
1-351, Plates i-xlvii 

JUKES-BROWNE, A. J., 1896 The fossils of the Warminster 
Greensand, Geological Magazine 3, 261-273 

JUKES-BROWNE, a.j. and hill, wh., 1900-6 The Cretaceous 
rocks of Britain, 1-3, Memoirs of the Geological Survey of 
the U.K., London 

Kennedy, w.j., 1970 A correlation of the uppermost Albian 
and the Cenomanian of south-west England, Proc. Geolo- 
gists' Association 81, 613-77 

KENNEDY, w. J. and HANCOCK, J. M., 1971 Mantelliceras saxbii 
and the horizon of the martimpreyi zone in the Ceno- 
manian of England, Palaeontology 14, 437-554, Plates 

mottram, B.H., 1961 Contributions to the geology of the 
Mere Fault and the Vale of Wardour Anticline, Proc. 
Geologists' Association 72, 187-203 

POPE-BARTLETT, B. and SCANES, J., 1916 Excursion to Mere 
and Maiden Bradley in Wiltshire, Proc. Geologists' 
Association 50, 379-417 

SCANES, J. and JUKES-BROWNE, A. J., 1901 On the Upper 
Greensand and Chloritic Marl of Mere and Maiden Brad- 
ley in Wiltshire, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Soc. 
London 57, 1-40 

sharpe, D., 1857 Description of the fossil remains of mollusc a 
found in the Chalk of England, i. Cephalopoda, Monograph 
Palaeontographical Soc. London, Vols, for 1853-55, 1-68, 
Plates i-xxvii 

wright, c.w. and Kennedy, w.j., 1984 The Ammonoidea of 
the Lower Chalk Part 1 , Monograph Palaeontographical 
Soc. London, 1-126, Plates 1-40, (publ. no. 567, part of 
Vol. 137 for 1983) 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 147-155. 

Insectivores in Wiltshire: Mole 


The paper surveys the occurrence of the mole Talpa europaea in Wiltshire using data from early records and from 
systematic survey over the years 1976 - 87. Methods of data collection are described, the records are set out, and 
various aspects of distribution, biology and behaviour are discussed. 


The mole T. europaea is a familiar British mammal, 
well known for its soft velvety pelage and easily 
recognized although it spends much of its life below 
ground and is therefore seldom seen. It is the only 
representative of the family Talpidae in Britain. 

Distribution maps published by the Mammal 
Society (Corbet 1971) showed the mole to be widely 
distributed throughout England, Wales and Scotland, 
although absent from Ireland; and the distribution 
map in the Provisional Atlas of the Mammals of the 
British Isles (Arnold 1978) showed near complete 
coverage, on a 10 km basis, of the whole of England. 
In Wiltshire, however, prior to 1976, records of the 
species were sparse and before the 1970s almost 
non-existent. During 1976 mammal recording in the 
county was established on a firm base and records 
were sought actively, using all available recording 
techniques, with the aims of bringing the distribution 
map up to date and of adding to the data already held. 
This paper, one of a series dealing with the distribu- 
tion and status of mammals in Wiltshire (Dillon and 
Browne 1975; Browne 1983; Dillon and Browne 1984; 
Browne 1985; Browne 1986; Browne 1987) summar- 
izes known incidence and distribution of T. europaea 
in Wiltshire up to the end of 1987 and presents 
available information on aspects of its biology and 

during conversations, from which transcripts were 
made and records extracted; at the beginning of 1986 
requests for records were circulated to all known 
recorders, with a special appeal for information from 
certain under-recorded areas of the county; and 
during 1986 and 1987 several 10 km squares, for 
which there were still no records, were searched for 
signs of moles. 

Evidence was sought on the presence of moles from 
sightings and field signs, and information recorded on 
location, map reference, habitat, date, diet, breeding, 
mortality and predation. 

Physical characteristics for the purpose of identifi- 
cation presented few problems. The body of the mole 
is barrel-shaped, about 100-114 mm in length. The 
limbs are short and the front feet are greatly enlarged, 
paddle-like, with five toes on each and long strong 
claws, well adapted for digging underground tunnel 
systems. The eyes are small and almost hidden in the 
fur, but they are functional. There are no external 
ears. The tail is short and slightly constricted at the 
base. The fur is dense, short, velvety and normally 
black. The skull is narrow and the muzzle is long and 
narrow with continuous tooth rows. 

Acceptable evidence of the presence of moles is 
provided by live sightings and dead animals, by field 
signs such as the spoil heaps thrown up while tunnel- 
ling, and by skeletal material. 


A provisional distribution map was established from 
information extracted from the national Biological 
Records Centre and from known local sources (Dillon 
and Noad 1980; Dillon 1984) up to 1976. There was 
little information and the provisional distribution map 
showed far from complete coverage of the county. 
Records were therefore sought throughout Wiltshire 
from members of natural history and conservation 
societies and other organizations; skeletal remains 
were studied and identified; people were questioned 

right fore right hind - 

Figure 1. T. europaea: feet and foot pads, approximately 1:1 



lower sockets 

lower teeth 

left lower i 

upper teeth «^C 7 inner side 
upper sockets outer side 

Figure 2. T. europaea: dentition, approximately 3:2. i, incisor; c, canine; p, premolar; m, molar 

The feet of live and dead moles have been studied 
in detail. The number and pattern of foot pads are 
shown in Figure 1 ; the front feet, as well as being very 
broad, are further characterized by broad ridges of 
skin along the inner edges. Moles are seldom seen 
above ground and their tracks are therefore not 
available as field signs, but the feet are distinctive and 
may contribute to the identification of dead animals or 
of skeletal remains. 

Skeletal material may be encountered in the field 
and isolated from the castings of predatory birds. 
Earlier work yielded material from which diagnostic 
features were noted and used in subsequent analysis 
(Dillon, Browne and Junghaans in prep.). These 
features are shown in Figure 2. 


By the end of 1987, 964 records were received. The 
minimum number of individual moles deduced from 
the evidence was 1006. 

All records were added to the existing distribution 
map. Known distribution of the mole in Wiltshire on 
31 December 1987 is shown in Figure 3. The map is 
plotted on a 1 km grid with, for clarity, only a 10 km 
grid shown, and superimposed upon the main river 
and canal systems of the county. Basic details of the 
records were published in annual Mammal Reports 
(Browne 1977-87). 

Four per cent of the records were of live moles. All 
were seen singly. Most sightings were chance occa- 
sions and the animals' activities were not always 
noted, but six were seen on roads and four were 
swimming in rivers, lakes, ponds, and the Kennet and 
Avon Canal; four were seen in gardens, one stuck 

between paving stones; one was found in a nest under 
a discarded metal sheet, though there was unfor- 
tunately no mention of the nest material; and one was 
in a surface run where it was being chased by a rat, 
though there was no mention of the outcome. 

There were two records of unusually coloured 
moles, one albino killed by a cat at Harnham in May 
1985 and one golden killed by a dog at Kington 
Langley in July 1986. 

Eleven per cent of the records were of dead moles. 
For the purpose of comparative quantification, when 
exact numbers were not stated, 'occasional' and 'more 
than one' were deemed to be three. Most were chance 
finds, the cause of death not being known, or trapped. 
Twenty were killed by predators; all skeletal material 
was assigned to this group, having been isolated from 
castings of the Barn owl Tyto alba. Fifteen were road 
casualties and one was drowned in a water tank. 

Eighty-five per cent of the records were of spoil 
heaps thrown up by moles when burrowing. This was 
the only field sign available for the species. There 
were no records of fortresses, the very large hills 
containing burrows and nest chambers. The nature of 
record is shown in Figure 4. 

Habitat data were available for 771 records. 
Twenty-one moles were seen on roads, six of them 
live and fifteen dead. A road may traverse any type of 
habitat but it is not itself a habitat in the accepted 
sense; the grid references of all road sightings were 
therefore checked against the 1:50,000 Ordnance 
Survey maps of the county and each record was 
assigned to the habitat type through which the road 

Habitats fell into four main categories in terms of 
cover. These were 'open', 'marginal', 'closed' and 



Figure 3. T. europaea: known distribution in Wiltshire 





50 100 




Figure 4. T. europaea: nature and number of records and percentage representation 

'artificial and commensal'. There were also four types 
of wetland habitat which overlapped with the main 
categories 'open' and 'marginal'. The descriptive ter- 
minology used by contributors was diverse and has 
therefore been standardized, but the main categories 
are nevertheless clearly defined. 

Of the 'open' habitats, 'pasture' includes per- 
manent and temporary grass fields; 'river valley' 
denotes low lying ground, mainly water meadows and 
damp pastures, near rivers; 'downland', 'parkland' 
and 'arable' are self explanatory. 

The 'water' habitats 'pond and lake banks', 'river 
banks' and 'canal banks' denote grass banks border- 
ing these water bodies, not necessarily subject to 

Of the 'marginal' habitats, 'road verge' denotes 
grass verges of all types of roads, lanes and tracks, 
excluding tracks through woodland. The terms 
hedgerow' and 'railway bank' are self explanatory. 

The 'closed' habitat 'woodland' includes deciduous 
woodland, mixed woodland which is mainly deci- 
duous, and old coppice. When spoil heaps were seen 
near tracks closely bordered by woodland on both 
sides, these were included in the 'woodland' category. 
There were no records from coniferous woodland, but 
there was one record of spoil heaps in a clearing of 
Yew Taxus baccata woodland. 

In the 'artificial and commensal' category, 'institu- 
tion grounds' denotes the managed areas between 
buildings of hospitals and Ministry of Defence estab- 
lishments; 'playing field' includes all types of grass 
recreation grounds, school playgrounds, football and 
other games fields, and two golf courses; 'airfield', 
'churchyard' and 'garden' are self explanatory. Habi- 
tat data are presented in Figure 5. 

From the 923 records which were dated accurately 
to a month it was possible to gain some information on 
seasonal activity. These data, presented in Figure 6, 
are based on records of live and dead moles and on the 
incidence of fresh spoil heaps. No attempt was made 
to analyse seasonal activity on an annual basis, the 

number of records varying so much from year to year 
that it would be unrealistic to compare them with each 
other. The monthly totals in Figure 6 are therefore 
aggregates for all years. 

Not many records gave any indication of the circa- 
dian rhythm of moles. Of the 41 seen live, it could be 
inferred from the wording of the records that most 
were diurnal sightings. There were 113 records of 
chance finds of dead moles, with no indication of the 
time of death. Similarly with the field sign data, which 
formed 85 per cent of all the records, there was no 
evidence to show when the moles had been active. 
Domestic cats are active intermittently and their prey 
may be killed diurnally or nocturnally. Domestic dogs 
were known to have killed only two moles, too small a 
sample even if it were known when the moles were 
killed. Only the Barn owl T. alba, a predator known 
to have killed six moles in Wiltshire, provided pos- 
sible evidence of nocturnal mole activity above 
ground. However, although T. alba is primarily a 
nocturnal hunter, it is known to hunt diurnally in 
certain circumstances during the winter. 

There were no observations of moles feeding, 
except for one which was found eating ants in the 
middle of a country road near Castle Combe in June 
1985. When the ants, which came up through a crack 
in the road surface, were all eaten the mole was moved 
for safety to the road verge, where it started to dig and 
disappeared from sight in less than 20 seconds. 

Moles have not been observed drinking in Wiltshire 
but have often been found in the vicinity of water. 
There were 67 records of spoil heaps in river valleys 
and seven on the banks of ponds, lakes and canals. 
The distribution of moles in relation to the river and 
canal systems (Figure 3) suggests a close correlation. 
One observer noted that in very dry weather moles 
moved into the garden after it had been watered. 
Another remarked that in times of flooding the moles 
moved slightly uphill away from the water but soon 
returned again. There were four records of moles 
swimming; one was about 2.5 m out in Corsham Lake 




river valley 
pond & lake bank 
river bank 
canal bank 
road verge 
.railway bank 
playing field 

institution grounds 

150 | 


open < 


245 1 






marginal < 


100 J 




12 \\ 

artificial i 


12 | 

8 : 


Figure 5. T. europaea: habitat: number of records and percentage representation 







295 ! 



















Figure 6. T. europaea: seasonal activity: number of records and percentage representation 



swimming towards the bank, in June 1984; one was 
swimming across the Kennet and Avon Canal at Great 
Bedwyn in July 1986; and Pitman ( 1986) published 
two accounts of moles swimming, one in a fast 
running eddy in the River Avon at Trafalgar, battling 
against the flow until it reached a whirlpool and was 
carried to the bank, the other crossing one of the large 
lakes at Petersfinger with apparent ease. There was 
also one mole, at Codford in December 1977, drow- 
ned in a water tank, from which it had presumably 
been unable to escape. 

There were no records containing evidence of 
breeding or from which breeding could be deduced. 

A total of 113 moles were found dead. Some were 
chance finds, the cause of death being unknown. 
Thirty-six were trapped; one of these was on a gibbet 
at Shrewton in April 1982 and 31 were hanging on a 
fence at Worton in November 1984. Fifteen were 
killed on roads, one was drowned, and 20 were killed 
by predators. The incidence of mortality is shown in 
Figure 7. 

The only avian predator known to have taken moles 
in Wiltshire is the Barn owl T. alba. Owl pellets have 
been collected and analysed systematically, and data 
were available from the following sources: one indi- 
vidual T. alba pellet from a roost near Oxenwood and 
a large fertilizer bag full of partially decomposed T. 
alba pellet material from a hollow elm tree (after 
felling) at Milton Lilbourne (Dillon 1977; Dillon, 

Browne and Junghaans in prep.). Mammalian preda- 
tors known to have killed moles are the domestic cat 
and the domestic dog, the data derived from record 
sheets submitted by eight individual contributors. 
The incidence of predation based on these data is 
presented in Figure 8. 


The mole is found to be widely distributed in Wilt- 
shire. On a 10 km square basis, distribution is 
complete, with records from every 10 km square 
contained wholly or partially within the county 
boundary. The 1 km representation shows the species 
to be present in most areas. Certain under- 
represented areas, such as the north east and the south 
west of the county, may reflect local shortages of 
recorders; however, the distribution map (Figure 3) 
shows a definite correlation between mole distribution 
and the river systems of Wiltshire and suggests the 
possibility that moles may in fact be absent from these 
apparently unrecorded areas. 

Four per cent of the records were of live moles. 
Such a small proportion of live records is not sur- 
prising, considering the mole's underground exist- 
ence. Mead-Briggs (1977) confirms that moles are 
rarely seen above ground but spend almost their 
entire lives in tunnels at various depths from just 
below the surface to 70 cm deep or more, and Smith 

Casual find 
dead on road 

Figure 7. T. europaea: mortality: number of records and percentage representation 

T. alba 
domestic cat 

domestic dog 

Figure 8. T. europaea: predation: number of records and percentage representation 



(1980) regarded them as a challenge to the naturalist 
for that reason, adding that mole catching was much 
underrated as a field sport. 

Only two moles of unusual appearance are known 
to have been seen in Wiltshire, the albino and golden 
specimens already mentioned. No figures of fre- 
quency are available for British moles, but Mead- 
Briggs (1977) states that abnormal colour is probably 
more frequent in moles than in any other British 
mammal species, the usual colour variants being from 
a rare true albino to cream, apricot or rust, piebald, 
and grey or silver. 

Casual finds of dead moles, road casualties, and 20 
killed by predators comprised only 1 1 per cent of the 
records. Again, considering the life style of the 
species, such a small proportion found dead is not 

The great majority of records, 85 per cent, were of 
field signs in the form of spoil heaps thrown up by the 
moles while tunnelling. These are easy to recognise 
and often conspicuous, especially on pasture, 
downland, road verges and lawns, where they show 
up clearly against the grass. Although they are such 
useful field signs, mole-hills cannot be used to indi- 
cate the number of moles present. Mead-Briggs 
(1977) estimates a density in grassland of about eight 
moles per hectare in winter and about 16 per hectare 
in summer, with each mole normally the sole occu- 
pant of a system of tunnels. Mellanby (1971), how- 
ever, found that although in undisturbed grassland 
individual moles might occupy discrete tunnel sys- 
tems and have well-defined home ranges in which 
they remained solitary for considerable periods, in the 
woodland study area of Monks Wood, in spite of the 
density of moles being only two per acre (approxi- 
mately five per hectare), they were found to have 
overlapping tunnel systems and to use communal 
runs. The mole population is therefore very difficult 
to estimate from the number of spoil heaps. Mellanby 
(1971) found that the very large hills, or fortresses, 
were constructed by only a few moles, usually in areas 
liable to flooding and, even in such areas, were only 
made by about 5 per cent of the mole population. In 
view of the small proportion of fortress builders it is 
not so surprising that no fortresses were recorded in 

Moles were found in a wide variety of different 
habitats and, as shown in Figure 5, many more were 
recorded in open, conspicuous situations such as 
pasture, downland and road verges than in closed or 
sheltered sites such as woodland and hedgerow. To 
some extent this must be offset by the ease with which 
the spoil heaps can be seen on open grasslands 

compared with the relative difficulty of seeing them 
on arable or in woodland. One observer noted that 
moles seemed to use grass fields adjacent to arable 
fields, suggesting that they might move with the crop 
rotations; it may be that they move into the crops to 
find food and are driven out again by machine 
cultivation. They colonize commensal situations such 
as gardens and are not apparently deterred by road 
traffic from making tunnel systems on the verges even 
of main roads and motorways; six were recorded live 
on roads, crossing or walking along the side and in 
one case feeding in the middle. There were 74 records 
of spoil heaps in river valleys and other situations near 
water, often in areas liable to flooding, and it was 
noted that in times of flood the moles moved a bit 
away from the water. Mellanby (1971) confirms that 
when flooding occurs the burrows fill with water and 
the moles must swim to safety or drown; he adds that 
when the water recedes the moles return very quickly. 
Observations have shown that moles swim efficiently 
and for quite long distances, and their front feet are in 
fact just as well adapted for swimming as for digging. 
River valleys provide conditions where digging is 
probably comparatively easy, and the damp soils 
would harbour plenty of insect foods to attract moles; 
it may be that they have a dependence on wet habitats 
greater than has been realized hitherto. 

Moles feed on earthworms, which may make up as 
much as 50 per cent of their diet, slugs, insects and 
insect larvae, centipedes, leatherjackets and, accord- 
ing to Smith (1980), they also take some carrion such 
as dead birds or mice. They feed when travelling 
about through the burrows, into which the soil fauna 
falls as if into traps, to be picked up and eaten. The 
burrowing is to create feeding grounds or to increase 
them (Mellanby 1971). They also feed on the surface, 
among leaf litter for example. Burrows are made at 
various levels, some as deep as 70 cm. During the 
coldest time of year, often February, moles open up 
the deep burrows because, as the weather gets colder, 
the soil fauna retreats deeper into the ground. The 
loose soil is all pushed up to the surface during 
re-excavation of the burrows, forming new spoil heaps 
which are conspicuous, often showing through snow. 
During the warmer summer months the soil fauna 
returns to the surface, followed by the moles. The 
burrows nearer the surface need less excavation to 
keep them open, with consequently less soil thrown 
out. These fluctuations in the amount of excavated 
soil are reflected in the seasonal activity graph in 
Figure 6. In drought conditions the soil fauna again 
retreats underground. One observer noted that there 
was mole activity in the garden after it had been 



watered; it may be that the moles found it easier to 
burrow sideways from field to garden, rather than 
down to the deeper burrows. Moles do not hibernate 
and are therefore active throughout the year, moving 
to different levels to find food. One mole in Wiltshire 
was observed feeding on ants but, apart from this 
single observation, there has been no record of their 
diet in the county. 

Thirty-six per cent of dead moles were chance 
finds, the cause of death being unknown. However, 
moles normally live solitary lives and tend to be 
aggressive towards other moles (Mellanby 1971) and it 
is likely that some of them die after fights. Some may 
have been killed by predators, but not eaten. Some of 
the corpses were not marked in any way and there was 
no apparent cause of death. 

Thirty-two per cent of dead moles were killed in 
traps and in one case 31 corpses were displayed 
hanging on a fence, a traditional mole catcher's 
method of advertising his proficiency. The soft dense 
fur used to be much valued for clothing and was made 
into coats, waistcoats, mittens and caps. Jefferies 
(1979) wrote c. 1878 that it was a tedious operation to 
make a waistcoat, as each tiny skin was prepared 
separately, several score of skins were needed and the 
work took about a year or more but when finished was 
soft and glossy and very warm. Nowadays moleskins 
are not fashionable for clothing and moles are usually 
regarded as pests. 

In some cases, if moles bring stones to the surface 
during their burrowing, these might cause some 
damage to machinery. On the whole, however, the 
spoil heaps are usually harmless and easily raked over; 
they are unfortunately often regarded as unsightly, 
but campaigns launched against the moles are purely 
cosmetic exercises. It is possible that, because moles 
are normally solitary, to kill one would defeat the 
object of the exercise since another mole would soon 
move into the vacant burrow system. Mole-hills are 
obviously not desirable on a cricket pitch or a golf 
course, but it might be more effective to use smoke 
squibs to drive moles away from sensitive areas rather 
than to kill them and risk bringing more moles in. 
Smith (1980) remarks that squibs are useful for 
clearing football pitches quickly. He also observes 
that moles do not tunnel near garlic, leeks or onions 
and that they are deterred by Caper spurge Euphorbia 
lathrys. It is almost impossible to keep a mole out of a 
garden as it will burrow under a wall or any other 
physical barrier, but it should be possible to design a 
vegetable plot in such a way that a mole would not 
enter it. On the credit side it should be noted that 
moles feed on a large number of garden pests, that the 

tunnel systems provide drainage, and that the spoil 
heaps produce excellent finely sifted soil. The effect of 
a mole in the author's garden, when one burrowed in 
under a stone wall in May 1985 and stayed for about 
six weeks in the strawberry bed, was entirely bene- 
ficial; it did not stray to other parts of the garden but 
remained among the strawberries and the crop was 
the best ever harvested, though whether this was due 
to improved drainage or to the elimination of pests in 
the soil it was not possible to say. 

The only predators known to have killed moles in 
Wiltshire are the Barn owl T. alba, the domestic cat 
and the domestic dog. The T. alba prey was identified 
from skeletal material recovered from pellets; one 
single pellet from one site yielded the remains of one 
mole, and a large quantity of partially broken pellet 
material from another site yielded the jaw bones of 
five moles. The owl at the second site had been using 
the roost for a number of years, judging by the 
quantity of pellet material, and perhaps acquired a 
knack of catching moles. One of the domestic cats also 
acquired a knack of locating moles by sound and 
springing on to them from its owner's shoulder. Other 
known predators are the heron Ardea cinerea, the 
buzzard Buteo buteo, and the Tawny owl Strix aluco, 
all said to take large numbers, and the fox Vulpes 
vulpes, but none of them are known to have killed 
moles in Wiltshire. 

Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Patrick J. Dillon 
for advice and help in preparing the text; H.R. Arnold for access to 
the national Biological Records Centre; the Salisbury and District 
Natural History Society for access to records and observations 
published in their bulletins; and all contributors of records. 

Contributors Miss J. Allen; N. Anderson; Sir Cristopher Andrewes; J. 
d'Arcy; A.R. Baker; Mrs R.G. Barnes; H.F. Bennett; R. Bennett; 
N.B. Brimble; D.J. Brothendge; J.R. Brown; Mrs M. Browne; Miss 
C. Burke; E.J.M. Buxton; J.A. Carman; B.D. Castle; N.L. Chad- 
wick; H.J. Chivers; Miss M.E. Compton; Dr G.B. Corbet; R. 
Cowlin; Miss S.A. Cross; Mrs S. Cunningham; R. Daw; E.C. 
Deadman; P.J. Dillon; Miss A.E. Earl; H. Edmunds; S.B. Edwards; 
L. Edwins; H. Ennion; Miss D. Forbes; Miss K.G. Forbes; Mr and 
Mrs G.M. Foxwell; M. Fuller; R.D. Fussell; Mrs S.M. Gibbon; 
Miss B. Gillam; M.J. Gould; J.R. Govett; Mrs D. Graiff; Dr I. Grier; 
R. Griffiths; P.R. Hamilton-Leggett; T.D. Harrison; J.C. Hawksley; 
B.J.W. Heath; Mrs D. Herrod-Taylor; G.A. Howe; F. Humphrys; 
Mrs E. Hunter; Mrs J. Jenkyns; Miss O.R. Jones; Mrs J. Jordan; J. 
Kendall; Lady Rennet; Miss J. King; O.A.W. Kite; W. Knight; Mrs 
G.A. Langdon; Miss E.J. Lenton; Miss P. Martin; N.H. McCarter; 
Miss K. McDowell; C.C. McFadyen; Miss J.L. Mantock; Mrs J.M. 
Morrison; Mr and Mrs J.B. Muns; M.H. Murphy; P.E. Newbery; 
P.N. Newton; Mrs K. Nicol; Dr J.E. Oliver; G.S. Oxford; D.B. 
Paynter; R.E. Penny; C.M.R. Pitman; E.W. Powell; R. Raddon; 
F.G. Reeman; D.W. Roberts; J. Rogers; J.C. Rolls; Miss S.F. 
Rooke; Salisbury and District Natural History Society; Mrs A. 
Sawyer; W. Seale; M.H. Shannon; Mrs H. Shortt; Mrs Smith; C. 
Spray; Mr and Mrs E.P. Stephens; J.A. Stevenson; Mrs A. Sum- 
mers; Lt. Col. D.C. Swift; R.G. Symes; W.G. Teagle; Mrs S.M. 
Thomson; Mrs M. Thorne; B. Timbrell; P.C. Tinning; R. Turner; 
Miss P.M. Twiney; Dr S.J. Tyler; L.D. Walker; Miss P.A. Ward; P. 
Waring; Miss J.L Webb; Brig.B.G. Wells; Miss T. White; Mrs S.H. 




ARNOLD, H.R. (ed.), 1978 Provisional Atlas of the Mammals of 
the British Isles, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, 

browne, M., 1977-87 Mammal Reports, Wilts. Nat. 
Hist. Mag. 72, 30-39; 73, 32-40; 74, 38-41; 75, 34-40 and 
WAN HS Annual Report 1981, 39-44; 1982, 57-61; 1983, 

1983 The Water vole in Wiltshire, WAM 77, 123-37 

1985 Small rodents in Wiltshire: dormouse, WAM 79, 


1986 Insectivores in Wiltshire: shrews, WAM 80, 197- 


1987 Insectivores in Wiltshire: hedgehog, WAM 81, 

1 1 1-22 

CORBET, G.B., 1971 Provisional distribution maps of British 

Mammals, Mammal Rev. 1, (4/5), 95-152 
dillon, p.j., 1977 Some recent Wiltshire owl pellet analysis 

in Browne, M., Mammal Report, WAM 72, 30-45 

1984 Natural history manuscripts in Devizes Museum, 

WAM 78, 105-13 

dillon, p.j. and browne, m., 1975 Habitat selection and nest 
ecology of the harvest mouse Micromvs minutus (Pallas), 
Wilts.Nai.Hist.Mag. 70, 3-9 

dillon, p.j. and browne, M., 1984 Small rodents in Wilt- 
shire: voles and mice, WAM 78, 94-104 

dillon, p.j. and noad, p., 1980 A catalogue of the Natural 
History Library of the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural 
History Society, Part 1, printed works, Wilts. Nat. 
Hist.Mag. 75, 2-19 

JEFFEries, R., 1979 The Gamekeeper at Home, Oxford, 
paperback edition; first pub. 1878 

MEAD-BRIGGS, A.R., 1977 Mole Talpa europaea in The Hand- 
book of British Mammals, second edition, ed. G.B. Corbet 
and H.N. Southern, Oxford: Blackwell, 37-45 

mellanby, K., 1971 The Mole, London: Collins 

PITMAN, C.M.R., 1986 Zoological Notes in Salisbury and 
District Nat. Hist. Soc. Bulletin 4/86, 4 

SMITH, G.N., 1980 Moles and their Control, Hindhead: Saiga 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 156-175. 


A Romano-British Lead Coffin at Birchanger Farm, Bratton, West Wiltshire 

(ST 8935 5190) 


At the beginning of September 1987, Mr Alan 
Aldridge, using a metal-detector in a field in the 
western part of Birchanger Farm, found and partly 
uncovered the top of a lead coffin. He contacted 
Devizes Museum who then informed the Trust for 
Wessex Archaeology. In consequence, on 11 Septem- 
ber the coffin was completely exposed. Its weight and 
fragile condition precluded its easy removal and since 
Mr Geoffrey Cooper, the farmer of the land, is 
ploughing at present to a depth of only c.0.20 m the 
coffin is not actually endangered. It was decided 

therefore to leave it in the ground and after drawing 
and photography, the grave was backfilled. 


The site lies on sloping ground, c.400 m north-west of 
the base of the steep escarpment of Westbury Hill, 
overlooked by Bratton Castle and the Westbury 
White Horse. A lead coffin which had been 
discovered in the vicinity in 1910 was removed and 
sent to Devizes Museum (WAM 36, 508). A witness 

Figure 1. Birchanger Farm, Bratton: exposed lead coffin viewed from NE, the iron nails in situ; 0.30 m scale 



to that discovery visited the recent find site during the 
day's work. In the north-west part of the field, c.50 m 
from the find site, there is a scatter of limestone 
rubble and ceramic roof tile, suggesting a building or 
settlement site. The Bridewell Springs lie 200 m to the 
west, a likely focus for settlement. The field, ploug- 
hed annually, has a depth of c. 0.20-0. 25 m of topsoil 
above a stiff, grey-brown clay. 


The coffin lay east-west in a rectangular grave mea- 
suring 2.30 m by 0.90 m at a depth of 0.50 m from the 
present ground surface. Apart from fragments mis- 
sing from the lid, the coffin was intact though dis- 
torted. The folds at the edge of the lid had become 
flattened, and the entire lid had shifted to the north, 
folding and buckling the upper parts of the coffin 
sides. The original dimensions were: c.1.80 m long; 
0.50 m and 0.40 m wide at the west and east ends, 
respectively; and c.0.50 m deep. The base of the 
coffin was made from a single sheet of lead folded up 
to form the sides and ends. The corners were formed 
by cutting and folding the ends around the sides, with 
an overlap of c.40 mm. The lid was also a single 
sheet, folded to give it a depth of c.40 mm, but the 
nature of its corners was not recoverable. The lead 
sheet was generally cA mm thick. Along the centre of 
the coffin's south side were two parallel rows of relief 
beading, c.2 mm wide and 60 mm apart, apparently 
formed by pressing a thin twisted cord into the sand 
before casting the lead sheet. This was not seen on the 
ends of the coffin and, because of the distortion, could 
not be seen on its north side. 

Iron nails found at the corners and along the sides 
of the lead coffin showed that it had been buried 
inside a larger wooden coffin or frame. The position of 
these nails suggested that the sides of the wooden 
coffin had been nailed to its ends, and the base nailed 
to the sides. No nails were found which might have 
fixed a wooden lid, and there was no evidence that the 
lead coffin had been fixed to the wooden one. The 
coffin was now filled with clay but, through a hole in 
the collapsed south side, the top of the right femur 
could be seen, showing that the head was at the west 


A single sherd of pottery from the fill of the grave is 
dated to the late third or fourth century A.D. The 
burial was probably therefore Late Romano-British. 
As this is the second lead coffin found in the vicinity, 
it suggests that there may have been a larger burial 
ground here, possibly with many more simple wooden 
coffins than lead ones, and probably belonging to 
whatever building or settlement lay to the north-west 
of the present find site. Such a settlement, lying on 
the junction of the heavy clay soils of the vale and the 
chalklands of the downs, would perhaps have been 
positioned to make use of the Bridewell Springs. 

Acknowledgements Thanks are due to Mr Cooper and Mr Aldndge, to 
Mr and Mrs Moger, and to the children, staff and helpers of the 
County Primary School at Bratton for their interest shown 
throughout the day's events. The writer would also like to thank Mr 
Roy Canham, County Archaeologist, who visited the site with a view 
to assisting in the coffin's removal. 

A Bulla of Raymond de Puy from Devizes 


In 1958 Mr D. Hyde found in his garden behind 21 St 
John's Churchyard, in Devizes, a lead bulla which he 
subsequently presented to Devizes Museum (acces- 
sion no. 12.58.341). Mr Hyde's house was previously 
the Sexton's House, and before that the Old Aims- 
House built in 1615 on an open site then described as 
'The Orchard'. The findspot lies either at the edge of, 
or perhaps just within, the ditch of the inner bailey of 
Devizes Castle. 

The bulla is of the Order of the Hospital of St John 
of Jerusalem (the Knights Hospitallers) and was 
issued under Raymond de Puy, Grand Master 
between 1120 and 1160. (Strictly speaking the 
rendering of the title 'custos' as 'Grand Master' here is 
anachronistic as it was not used with this meaning 
until later in history of the Order.) Raymond de Puy 
is considered one of the greatest of the Masters of the 
Order. He has been described as 'its real maker. He 



' H 

Figure 1. Bulla of Raymond de Puy from Devizes. Scale: x 2 

found it a small community of monks tending the sick 
in a hospital and left it the greatest and most powerful 
institution in Christendom'. It was Raymond de Puy 
who firmly established the Order in England. 

The bulla is in excellent condition. The design on 
the obverse shows Raymond facing right, his hands 
clasped in prayer, kneeling in adoration before a 
patriarchal cross which is flanked by an alpha and an 
omega. The legend reads +RAIMVNDVS CVSTOS. 
On the reverse appears the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre with its three cupolas beneath which lies a 
recumbent bandaged figure on a mattress, with a cross 
at both head and feet; above him is suspended a lamp 
while above his legs a censer is swung by an unseen 
hand. The legend reads +HOSPITALIS IHERV- 

Bullae of Raymond de Puy are extremely rare. One 
other is known from England: found at Carbrooke in 
Norfolk which was established as a Commandery of 
the Order in the twelfth century, it is now preserved 
in the St Peter Hungate Museum in Norwich (Proc. 
Arch. Inst. 1851, fig. opp. p.xlviii). This bulla is in a 
totally different style from the Devizes example. The 
Devizes bulla does, however, conform to the design of 
the two other recorded bullae of Raymond de Puy. 
The first of these, which is now lost, was attached to a 

document dated 1 1 34 preserved in the Archives of the 
Order of Malta (Paoli 1733, 202; Tav.VIII.l). The 
other, which is unprovenanced, was published by 
Schlumberger (1894, No. 5; 1943, No. 165). 

The bulla from Devizes is certainly too early in date 
to be associated in any way with the property recorded 
as held by the Knights Hospitallers in the town in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its presence is 
clearly to be related to Devizes Castle, possibly either 
at the time of its main builder, Roger, Bishop of 
Salisbury, who died in 1139 and who was the most 
powerful man in England after King Henry I, or from 
the period after 1 141 when the castle was in the hands 
of the Empress Matilda, thirteen of whose charters 
were issued from Devizes. 


PAOLI, S., 1733 Codice Diplomatico del Sacro Militare Ordine 
Gerosolimitano, I, Lucca 

Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute (1847), 1851 'Cata- 
logue of antiquities in the Museum of the Institute, 
Norwich', xlvii-li 

schlumberger, G., 1894 'Neuf sceaux de l'Orient Latin', 
Revue de l'Orient Latin II, 177-182 


1943 Sigillographie de L'Orient Latin, Paris 



A Medieval Seal Matrix of a Commissary of the Lord Pope 


A bronze seal matrix of a papal commissary 
('commissary Apostolic') was found in 1986 by Mr 
Russel Dew at Langley Burrell. It dates roughly to the 
first half of the fifteenth Century, and is probably of 
English manufacture. 1 

The matrix is a pointed oval in shape, and measures 
69 by 42 mm. The engraved design shows the Pope, 
wearing a hat or crown with trefoils, seated on a 
throne with a pinnacled and crocketed triple canopy. 
He holds a patriarchal cross in his left hand, and has 
his right hand raised in benediction. Below are the 
papal arms consisting of the crossed keys of St Peter 
and the sword of St Paul. The legend, in gothic script 
with the words separated by flowers, is sigillum 
commissarii do mini pape. 

To whom it belonged is unknown. A commissary 
Apostolic is a delegate appointed by the Pope to gain 
information or to pass judgement in a certain cause; 2 
Cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio were appointed 
papal representatives in the matter of the divorce of 
Henry VIII, for example. A commissary Apostolic 

would normally be a senior churchman, and would be 
appointed to deal with a fairly weighty matter. 

There appears to be no evidence which would link a 
papal commissary with Langley Burrell, or indeed 
Wiltshire, in the first half of the fifteenth Century. 3 
There is no indication that church issues in the 
Diocese of Salisbury during the relevant period 
attracted the attention of the Pope to the extent of his 
sending a commissary, nor matters at nearby Stanley 
Abbey, Bradenstoke Priory, or other religious houses 
in the area. An incident in 1490 in which the nuns of 
Kington St Michael Priory tried to free themselves 
from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Salisbury by 
forging a papal bull 4 came to the attention of the 
Pope, but his letter directing the Bishop of Salisbury 
to investigate the affair appears not to confer any 
special authority on him. A bishop might be a likely 
candidate for a particular commission, but it is not 
recorded that any bishop of Sahsbury was made a 
commissary Apostolic during the early fifteenth 
Century. 5 

Figure 1. Left: Bronze seal matrix of a papal commissary. Right: seal impression. Scale: approx. actual size 

I am grateful to Mr Dew for allowing the seal matrix to 
be examined and published, and to Mr John Cherry for 
his help in examining and dating it. 
The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, s.v. commiss- 
ary Apostolic. 
The Victoria County History, Wiltshire, Vol. 3, 

Oxford, 1956. 

Revd. J.E. Jackson, 'Kington St Michael', WAM 4 

(1858), 56-60. 

Revd. S.H. Cassan, Lives and Memoirs of the Bishops of- 

Sherborne and Salisbury, 1824, 230-72. 



Wiltshire and the Revolution of 1688 


The accession of James II in 1685 brought several 
Wiltshire magnates to the fore, such as the Hydes, the 
King's brothers-in-law. 1 The Earl of Clarendon, who 
had been M.P. for Wiltshire from 1661 to 1674, 
became Lord Privy Seal, and Lord Rochester, M.P. 
for Wootton Bassett in the Parliament of 1679, was 
made Lord Treasurer. Also prominent among the 
King's counsels were Lord Arundell of Wardour, the 
leading Roman Catholic in the county, and Lord 
Bruce, soon to succeed his father as Lord Ailesbury. 
The recent purges of the Corporations by Charles II 
led to Court success in Wiltshire in the election of 
1685. The two County Seats went to Lord Bruce and 
Clarendon's son Lord Cornbury, and the boroughs 
were nearly solid for the Court; only Heytesbury and 
Old Sarum returned opponents of the King. The 
Loyalist M.P.s included ten of the twenty one Wilt- 
shire Deputy Lieutenants. 2 

Wiltshire played little part in the Monmouth 
Rebellion of 1685, either for or against. The general 
lack of enthusiasm was described by John Martin of 
Lavington in a letter to William Moore, June 27th 
1685 : 3 'I do not find any here about flock into the 
Duke as it was thought they would. . . . Between the 
poor people's fear of death and the better sort's fear of 
losing what they have by soldiers or war, I never knew 
such a general discontent'. He had no high opinion of 
the Salisbury militia who passed through the village 
en route to the West: 'Never I think were such 
fainthearted cowards seen, for they now thought they 
were leaving their beloved bacon and ale and going on 
to certain destruction'. 

Another retrospective letter, from John Collins to 
Edward Poore of Queen's College, Oxford, in 1771, 4 
recounted the story that the King's regular troops, 
coming from Potterne to Devizes, were led along New 
Lane across a marshy footpath where the guns and 
carriages were bogged down 'which gave the inha- 
bitants of Devizes time to secrete some of their 

effects'; John Collins' grandfather had time to hide his 
glazier's vice in a dunghill. The King's troops spent 
two weeks in Devizes. On the first Sunday, before 
going to Church, they left their weapons unguarded 
in the Guildhall, whereupon 'some of the common 
people talked of seizing them for the service of the 
Duke of Monmouth, but as nobody attempted it, 
nothing was done'. John Collins also reported an 
unsubstantiated story that King James was in Devizes 
with his troops, lodging at the Pelican 'where he dined 
in public every day'. The only real Wiltshire disturb- 
ance in favour of Monmouth was in the Frome - 
Westbury - Warminster area, but this was quickly 
suppressed by the Trowbridge militia under the Earl 
of Pembroke, Lord Lieutenant of the County, with 
only two casualties. 5 

Monmouth's strategy was to advance on Bristol, 
England's second city and strongly Nonconformist, 
and thence to march to Cheshire, where he 
anticipated considerable support, but this hope was 
frustrated at the engagement at Keynsham Bridge on 
20 June, when he was defeated by the regular cavalry. 
Adam Wheeler, drummer in the Salisbury militia, 
described the scene: 'There were gathered together 
near 1500 rebels armed with muskets, fowling pieces, 
prongs etc. They maintained for some time the bridge 
but at last were routed'. A week later, on 27 June, at 
the weaving town of Norton St Philip, the armies met 
again, as Monmouth moved towards Wiltshire where 
he had been led to believe there was a large body of 
horsemen ready to join him. Adam Wheeler recorded: 
'We heard the field pieces play and great hollowing; it 
lasted several hours . . . many of the King's party 
were slain in this engagement'. 6 Heavy rain, however, 
had drenched both armies and the rebels retreated 
towards Frome. Monmouth considered advancing 
towards London but 'there was no appearance of the 
Wiltshire Horse, although we were near enough to 
have joined them if they had enough stomach to it', 7 

1. The Hyde family had considerable property in Wil- 
tshire. Anne Hyde, first wife of James II, was born at 
College Farm, Purton Stoke. 

2. R.H. George, 'Parliamentary Elections and Elec- 
tioneering in 1685', Transactions of the Royal Historical 
Society, 4th series, vol.19, pp. 167-95. 

3. English Historical Review vol. 43, pp. 604—6, quoting 
Add. MSS 38012. 

4. John Collins' Diary 1771, quoted in J.Waylen, A 

History of Devizes, Devizes, 1859, pp. 319-20. 

5. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Sackville, vol.1 
(1904), 13. 

6. 'Iter Bellicosum - Adam Wheeler - His Account of 
1685', Camden Miscellany No. 12, Camden Society, 
3rd series, vol.18, pp. 153-66. 

7. Nathaniel Wade, British Library, Harleian MSS 6845, 
Folios 274-82. 



and Lord Feversham at Westbury blocked the route 
to the capital. The rebels now moved west to Shepton 
Mallet, Wells and Bridgwater, hoping to join with the 
Clubmen in Somerset and perhaps make another 
attempt on Bristol. The Royal army followed them 
into Somerset, but the heavy cannon were sent to 
Devizes 'for the enemy's movements are so very 
irregular in a very bad and enclosed country that it 
would be an impediment to take them'. 8 

The Wiltshire Militia were present at the Battle of 
Sedgemoor on 6 July; they were, in fact, the first to 
arrive on the battlefield, but they took no part in the 
fighting, though afterwards they helped to round up 
the prisoners into Weston Zoyland church. They did, 
however, receive the King's thanks 'for being so early 
in the field, and for countenancing and encouraging 
the fight'. As a reward, they were allowed to escort the 
remaining artillery as far as Devizes 'and left it there 
to be guarded by the King's own troops'. 9 On the way 
they stopped at the Bell Inn, Seend, where they drank 
an entire cask of liquor, which was afterwards known 
as 'Old Monmouth'. When it was no longer servicea- 
ble for beer, it was sawn in half and used as a pair of 
wash-tubs. Two of the cannon captured at Sedgemoor 
came into the possession of Walter Grubbe, the 
Royalist M.P. for Devizes from 1685 to 1694, and 
later into the possession of the Hunt-Grubbe family of 

The swift and terrible retribution exacted on the 
West Country by Judge Jeffreys did not greatly affect 
Wiltshire. Six men: Richard White, William Ingram, 
Stephen Moore, John Palmer, Morice Morgan, and 
Benjamin Buckler, were convicted for 'speaking sedi- 
tious words', fined 13s 4d each and whipped, whereas 
nearly 1100 men from Dorset, Devon and Somerset 
were transported or hanged, drawn and quartered. 10 
Yet Lord Weymouth complained that though Wilt- 
shire had little share in the rising, 'the dragoons 
punish this county as well as another by the posting of 
regiments of regular troops'. 11 After Monmouth's 
slow and painful death, an imposter appeared and 
levied contributions in several Wiltshire villages but 
he was apprehended and whipped from Newgate to 

Tyburn. 1 - James himself made a Western progress to 
inspect the scenes of the rebellion and is recorded as 
going through Marlborough and Salisbury. 

Encouraged by the ease with which the Monmouth 
rising had been crushed and ignoring the fact that his 
opponents could now unite behind one rival, James 
proceeded with his plan to restore Roman Catho- 
licism. All those magnates who were not in favour of 
his policy were purged and three Wiltshire noblemen 
lost their posts - Somerset, Rochester and Clarendon, 
the Roman Catholic Lord Arundell of Wardour 
taking Clarendon's place as Lord Privy Seal. The Earl 
of Pembroke was expelled from his post of Lord 
Lieutenant, despite his loyal service to the Crown 
against Monmouth. In 1687, James instructed the 
Lords Lieutenant of the Counties to put three ques- 
tions to the Deputy Lord Lieutenants and to magis- 
trates to ascertain their views on the removal of the 
Test and Corporation Acts and to calculate how far he 
could rely on them in the following elections: 13 

1. In case you shall bee chosen Knight of the 
Shire or Burgess of a towne, when the King shall 
think fitt to call a Parliament, will you be for 
taking off the Penal Laws and the Tests? 

2. Will you assist and contribute to the election of 
such members as shall be for taking off the Penal 
Laws and Tests? 

3. Will you support his Majesties Declaration for 
Liberty of Conscience, by living friendly with 
those of all Perswasions, as subjects of the same 
Prince and good Christians ought to do? 

The replies were hardly encouraging in Wiltshire. 
Only seven agreed unreservedly, and the Lord 
Lieutenant, the Earl of Yarmouth, reported that 
'these seven could not be trusted'. Sixteen of thirty 
four said that they would not declare their intentions 
until they came to the House. 14 James now tampered 
with the municipal corporations to get rid of all those 
who were hostile to his pro-Catholic policy. On 17 
December, 1687, the Mayor and twenty five councill- 
ors of Salisbury 15 and the Bailiff and four burgesses of 
Chippenham were displaced. 16 In 1688, Devizes, 17 

8. 'Iter Bellicosum - Adam Wheeler . . . ', op.cit. 

9. Ibid. 

10. Anon., An Account of the Proceedings Against the Rebels 
and other Prisoners in the West, London, 1716, p.l.; and 
Calendar of Treasury Books, 1685-9, p. 414. 

11. Longleat, Thynne Papers, 22, Fol. 252. 

12. Longleat, Thynne Papers, 22: Letter of Lord Wey- 
mouth to Sir R. Southwell, 6 Nov. 1686. 

13. Returns, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson Collection, 
A. 139a fol. 191. 

14. Sir G.F. Duckett, Penal Laws and Test Acts in 1688, (2 
vols., 1882-3), vol. 1, pp. 205-29; vol. 2, pp. 267-9, 
301. See also WAM 18, pp. 359-74. 

15. Historical Manuscripts Commission, Various Collec- 
tions, vol. 4, 1907, p. 249; R.Benson and H. Hatcher, 
Old and New Sarum or Salisbury, Salisbury, 1843, pp. 

16. F.H. Goldney, Records of Chippenham, 1889, p. 319, 

17. B.H. Cunnington, Some Annals of the Borough of 
Devizes, vol. 1, Devizes, 1925, pp. 181-83. 



Calne and Marlborough 18 received doctored Charters. 
In Devizes the number of free burgesses who could 
vote was limited to thirty five, a new Recorder was 
imposed and one third of the Town Council were 
'hereby removed and displaced from their aforesaid 
offices'. Moreover, to assure himself of a compliant 
House of Commons, James sent 'regulators . . . into 
the several Counties to manage the elections'. 19 

Suddenly, however, James revoked these changes 
and restored the status quo. The reason was his fear of 
invasion and revolution. The Aurora Borealis, which 
had been observed on 30 October, was widely inter- 
preted as a portent of conflict just as Halley's Comet 
had been in 1066. George Wansey of Warminster 
wrote in his notebook: 20 'The 30th of October at 
about seven in the evening, were seen, as it were, 
longe streamers or pickes in the sky, towards the 
north and north west, but towards midnight it was 
seen very terrible, those longe streamers, as it were, 
warring with each other and seeming as it were two 
parties. 'Twas seen about Bristol, where they say were 
seene men and guns and drums; and it is said in other 
places were seen viz two armies'. The rumour soon 
spread that 'the Prince of Orange was coming with a 
great army of Swedes, Switzers, English and Scots'. 

The King's son-in-law, William of Orange, landed 
at Torbay, appropriately on the emotive date of 5 
November; the messenger who took the news to 
James killed seven horses in the process. In the 
second week of November, the Royal army was 
dispatched in three divisions, stationed at Marlbo- 
rough, Salisbury and Warminster, to await William's 
movements. George Wansey reported the effect of 
this influx on the inhabitants of Warminster: 'On the 
8th inst. at night we had a party of great men lay in 
Warminster, about 60 men and about 90 horses, they 
having about 30 led horses with arms and money. The 
next day at night came in a regiment of the King's, 
commanded by Major General Worden. ... the 
people of Warminster suffered much by this army of 
the King's in eating and spoiling their hay and corn'. 

It was at this juncture that the so-called 'Warmin- 
ster Plot' is said to have originated. It is true that 
many leading men in the King's army, apprehensive 
about the outcome of the forthcoming struggle for the 

throne, were making contact with William as a form 
of insurance in case the worst happened. More dispu- 
table is the veracity of John Churchill's 'plot' to 
deliver James into the hands of the Prince of Orange; 
it may well have been a later Jacobite fabrication, 
though there is some documentary evidence of its 
authenticity. Churchill is supposed to have advised 
the King, who had joined his forces at Salisbury and 
was staying in the Bishop's Palace, that he ought to go 
to Warminster to inspect and rally his army; he would 
then be seized and handed over to the invading forces. 
In Macpherson's 'Original Papers' occur two entries 
copied from the Memorandum Books of Thomas 
Carte, the historian, containing 'An account given by 
Colonel Ambrose Norton of a conversation with Sir 
George Hewit .... we were resolved to carry him a 
prisoner to the Prince of Orange . . . but if any others 
of the papist officers should endeavour to rescue him, 
then Wood and I, said Sir George, should have shot 
him, and if that had missed, then Lord Churchill, that 
was provided with a pocket pistol and dagger would 
have shot or stabbed him in the coach'. 21 Sir John 
Reresby, in his Memoirs, under 28 November 1688, 
recorded 'On 19th November, the King having then 
reached Salisbury where his army was rendezvoused, 
the Lord Churchill, one of his Major-Generals, misled 
his Majesty into a train, which must have betrayed 
him into the hands of a party of the Prince of Orange's 
army'. 22 In fact the coach was at the door of the 
Episcopal Palace when James' nose began to bleed 
violently and he had to submit to medical treatment. 
John Aubrey wrote: 'When James II was at Salisbury, 
his nose bled near two days, and after many essays in 
vain, was stopped by sympathetic ash which Mr. 
Wm. Nash, a chirurgeon at Salisbury, applied'. 
Aubrey described how this was made: 'Cut an ash of 
one, two or three years' growth at the very hour and 
minute of the Sun's entry into Taurus, A chip of this 
will do it'. 23 

Meanwhile bad news had reached James. Viscount 
Cornbury, Clarendon's heir and M.P. for Wiltshire 
from 1685 to 1695, who was temporarily in command 
at Salisbury, led three regiments forward, ostensibly 
to attack William but in reality to join him at 
Axminster.Some of his troops refused to desert, but 

18. M. G. Rathbone, List of Wiltshire Borough Records . . ., 
Wiltshire Record Society vol. 5, 1951, p. 35. 

19. N.Luttrell, A Brief Relation of State Affairs, (6 vols. 
1678-1714), vol. 1, p.460. 

20. George Wansey's Notebook, quoted in J.J.Daniel, The 
History of Warminster, 1879, p. 79. George Wansey 
died in 1707. 

21. J. MacPherson, Original Papers Containing the Secret 
History of Great Britain from the Restoration to the House 
of Hanover, vol.1, 1775. 

22. Quoted in J.J. Daniel, The History of Warminster, 
Warminster, 1879, p. 87. 

23. J. Aubrey, Three Prose Works, London, 1972 p. 88. 



he and a hundred officers went over together with the 
Earl of Abingdon, who had great influence in North 
Wiltshire. Some of the army at Warminster were also 
deserting. George Wansey wrote: 'On 23rd at night, 
near about 10, there was a false alarm, when their 
guards being out of order, the horse ran away to the 
Prince of Orange. Some thought 600 might go away 
that night.' Hearing of these desertions, and that his 
daughter Anne had also made contact with William, 
James left Salisbury and ordered his army to fall back 
on Andover, to secure the country towards Reading, 
though few of the officers did so and increasing 
numbers of the rank and file were returning to their 
homes. When Churchill, Grafton and Kirke defected 
to William, James returned to London. 

William entered Wiltshire early in December to 
great rejoicing. Stopping at Berwick St Leonard, near 
Hindon, where the Prince was entertained by the 
widow of Edward Hyde of Hatch, the army rode by 
way of Wylye and Wilton, where William visited the 
house and gardens, towards Salisbury. Macaulay 
wrote: 'Though mid-winter was approaching, the 
weather was fine, the way pleasant; and the turf of 
Salisbury Plain seemed luxuriously smooth to men 
who had been toiling through the miry ruts of the 
Devonshire and Somersetshire highways. The route 
of the army lay close by Stonehenge; and regiment 
after regiment halted to examine that mysterious ruin, 
celebrated all over the Continent, as the greatest 
wonder of our island'. 24 William entered Salisbury in 
triumph on 4 December; the Church bells were rung 
and people flocked to greet him. At the head of the 
military escort marched Count Solmes' regiment of 
'footguards with colours flying, drums beating, haut- 
boys playing'. Next came troops of horse 'with their 
kettle drums beating, colours flourishing, trumpets 
sounding, the officers showing their courtesy to the 
people'. 25 Clarendon, who had defected to William at 
Hindon on 3 December, presented the Mayor and 
Corporation to him. 26 Wilham was lodged in the 
Bishop's Palace, as James had been, but left on 6 
December to make his way to Hungerford to parley 
with James' Commissioners. 27 Finding the Bear Inn 
too small for his retinue, he spent two nights at 
Littlecote, as the guest of Alexander Popham. 
Macaulay described the accompanying procession: 

First rode Macclesfield at the head of two hun- 
dred gentlemen, mostly of English blood, glit- 
tering in helmets and cuirasses, and mounted on 
Flemish war-horses. Each was attended by a 
negro brought from the sugar plantations on the 
coast of Guiana. . . . Then with drawn broads- 
words, came a squadron of Swedish horsemen in 
black armour and fur cloaks. They were regarded 
with a strange interest, for it was rumoured that 
they were natives of a land where the ocean was 
frozen, where the night lasted through half the 
year, and that they had themselves slain the huge 
bears whose skins they wore. Next, surrounded 
by a goodly company of gentlemen and pages was 
borne aloft the Prince's banner. On its folds the 
crowd which covered the roofs and filled the 
windows read with delight that memorable 
inscription, 'The Protestant Religion and the 
liberties of England'. 

But the acclamations redoubled when, 
attended by forty running footmen, the Prince 
himself appeared, armed on back and breast, 
wearing a white plume and mounted on a white 
charger. . . . Near to the Prince was one who 
divided with him the gaze of the multitude, . . . 
the great Count Schomberg, the first soldier in 
Europe, since Turenne and Conde were gone 
.... Then came a long column of the whiskered 
infantry of Switzerland, distinguished in all the 
Continental wars of two centuries by pre-eminent 
valour and discipline, but never till that week 
seen on English ground. And then marched a 
succession of bands designated, as was the fashion 
of that age, after their leaders, Bentinck, Solmes, 
and Ginkell, Talmash, and Mackay. . . . Nor did 
the wonder of the population diminish when the 
artillery arrived, twenty-one huge pieces of brass 
cannon, which were with difficulty tugged along 
by sixteen cart-horses to each. 28 

At Littlecote, in the room where William stayed, is 
a worked sampler made in 1693 by Martha Wright, 
which bears the legend 'The Prince of Orange landed 
in the West of England on the 5th of November, 1688 
and on the 11th of April 1689 was crowned King of 

24. Quoted in: Anon., Littlecote, privately printed, 1900, 
pp. 86-7. 

25. J. Whittle, An Exact Diary of the late expedition of . . . 
the Prince of Orange . . . , London, 1689. 

26. S.W. Singer (ed.), The correspondence of Henry Hyde, 
Earl of Clarendon . . . , London, 1828. 

27. John Whittle's Diary, op.cit. 

28. See Footnote 24. 



On 10 December, William moved on to Newbury, 
en route for Oxford. A day later, four Wiltshire peers, 
Weymouth, Rochester, Pembroke and Ailesbury 
signed the invitation to William to take over the 
government of the country; Pembroke and Wey- 
mouth carried this to William at Henley, and James 
fled to France, at the second attempt, the first time 
having been apprehended by Kentish fishermen on 
the look out for Catholic priests. 

Although James' character and policies had made 
the outcome of the Revolution inevitable, it was in 

Wiltshire that the denouement took place. At Salis- 
bury and Warminster, the decisive defections occur- 
red which tipped the balance in favour of 
Protestantism and constitutional monarchy. We can 
assume that Wiltshiremen heaved a sigh of relief that 
they had been spared another civil war, and adapted 
pragmatically to the new regime, as the Devizes 
Chamberlains' accounts of 1689 show: 
'Paid for 100 of ffagotts at the proclaimeing and 
Coronacion of the King and Queene - 17s. 6d. Paid 
for the musicke - £1.' 29 

29. Chamberlains' Accounts, WRO G20/1/19. 

Chalk and Cheese: Patterns of Landholding and Religious Nonconformity in 

Wiltshire, 1739-1850 


David Underdown's recent book, Revel, Riot and 
Rebellion, is important for those interested in Wilt- 
shire history, because it is the first full-scale attempt 
to apply the theory of chalk and cheese to the writing 
of social history. 1 This theory, which tells us that 
different geographical regions in Wiltshire (and else- 
where) produced contrasting social structures and 
cultures, has of course been with us at least since John 
Aubrey's much quoted remarks on the subject. 2 
Underdown uses the theory to explain Civil War 
allegiances in Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon. In 
Wiltshire, we are told, the chalk country was largely 
royalist because of its open-field sheep and corn 
agriculture, nucleated settlements, communitarian 
values and its high level of aristocratic domination. 
The cheese country, on the other hand, supported 
Parliament because of its pastoral and cloth-making 
economy, scattered patterns of settlement, and its low 

level of aristocratic control, all of which fostered a 
culture of individualism, Puritanism and rebel- 

While Underdown presents much evidence that 
fits his thesis, he is constantly aware that there are 
many exceptions. 3 Critics have suggested that the 
data he provides are not sufficient to prove the 
existence of the cultural dichotomy. 4 Indeed, read- 
ing through nineteenth and twentieth century histo- 
rical and other literature, it is possible to find many 
downland (or partially downland) communities that 
had reputations for 'independence' and lawlessness. 5 
It is clear, therefore, that the theory of chalk and 
cheese requires a detailed investigation, parish by 
parish, before its degree of accuracy can at last be 

My own research is attempting to fill this need, 
though for a period later than Underdown's (i.e. 

David Underdown, Revel, Riot and Rebellion: Popular 
Politics and Culture in England, 1603-1660, Oxford 
University Press, 1987. 

John Aubrey, The Natural History of Wiltshire, 
London, Wiltshire Topographical Society, 1847, pp. 
11-12. The standard statement of the theory of chalk 
and cheese is by Eric Kerridge in 'Agriculture c . 1 500 - 
c. 1793', Victoria Countv History of Wiltshire vol. 4, pp. 

3. Underdown, op. cit., pp. 5 and 104. 

4. See in particular John Morrill, 'The Ecology of Alle- 
giance in the English Revolution', Journal of British 
Studies, vol 26, no. 4 (October 1987), pp. 451 and 467. 
Morrill's review is accompanied in the same issue by 
Underdown's rebuttal, 'A reply to John Morrill'. 

5. For Aldbourne see Alfred Williams, Villages of the 
White Horse, London, Duckworth & Co., 1913, p. 171. 
For Market Lavington see H. Atley, A Topographical 



1739-1850). 6 Rather than making assumptions about 
patterns of landholding on the basis of geographical 
location, I have decided to analyse landholding itself 
in every Wiltshire parish. 7 To explore the connection 
between patterns of landholding and the culture of 
'independence' I have analysed patterns of riot and 
nonconformity from a whole range of published and 
unpublished sources. 

All 301 Wiltshire communities have been classified 
according to the number of owners and the proportion 
of the land controlled by the three largest owners. 8 A 
total of eighty-six parishes were classified as small- 
holder communities, because they had fifty or more 
owners and/or because the three largest owners con- 
trolled less than 50 per cent of the land. These were 
the places with the lowest levels of aristocratic domi- 
nation and where riotousness, religious noncon- 
formity and a spirit of independence could be 
expected to flourish. According to the theory of chalk 
and cheese, smallholder communities ought also to 
have been located almost entirely in the cheese 

The results of the study show a more complicated 
picture. The largest concentration of smallholder 
communities was indeed in the cheese country. By 
cheese country I mean specifically the clay vales 
(including the southern butter country). Among these 
clay smallholder communities were all the main 
clothmaking centres of that region, both rural and 
urban. On the other hand, only about half the 
parishes in the clay vales were smallholder commu- 
nities, and the rest were places with powerful landhol- 
ding oligarchies and only a few owners. 

There were also smaller numbers of smallholder 
communities scattered all over the county. In compa- 

rison with the clay vales, only one tenth of the 
parishes located exclusively on the chalk downs were 
smallholder communities. These included not only 
the urban centres (Salisbury, Wilton and Marlbo- 
rough), but also several smaller places as well 
(Aldbourne and Ramsbury for example). The three 
other geographical regions (the Cotswolds, greensand 
and the tiny southeastern forest pasture area) were all 
in between these extremes, with smallholder commu- 
nities accounting for between 30 per cent and 40 per 
cent of their numbers. The geographical spread of 
smallholder communities thus gives validity to the 
theory of chalk and cheese, but not as a rigid 
dichotomy. Instead, this analysis presents the image 
of a broad continuum. 

To what extent did smallholder communities poss- 
ess a culture of 'independence', the antithesis of the 
deferent attitudes to be expected in villages domi- 
nated by squire and parson? Let us look briefly at 
religious nonconformity and particularly at the con- 
clusions that can be drawn from the recently 
published meeting house certificates. 9 It was expected 
that most of the meeting houses which these certi- 
ficates represent would have been located in small- 
holder communities. For the first 90 years covered by 
the certificates (1689-1779), about 72 per cent were 
indeed for meeting houses located in smallholder 
communities. For several of the mid-eighteenth 
century decades, the figure was almost 100 per cent. 
From 1780 to 1850, however, only about 55 per cent 
of the registered meeting houses were in smallholder 
communities. In the 1810s and 1820s less than 50 per 
cent were so located. Also during this second period, 
the numbers of certificates skyrocketed. 10 These were 
the great decades of religious revival and meeting 

Account of Market Lavington, Wilts, Its Past and Present 
Condition, Also the Rise and Progress of the Independent 
Church in that Place and the Authentic History of David 
Saunders, the Pious Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, Salis- 
bury, Frederick H. Blake, 1855, p. 12. For Hindon, 
Downton, Whiteparish, and Urchfont see Edwina 
Billinge, 'Rural Crime and Protest in Wiltshire, 1830- 
1835', Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Kent at 
Canterbury, 1984, pp. 200-201, 206, and 239. For 
Ramsbury and Pewsey see E.J. Hobsbawm and G. 
Rude, Captain Swing, London: Lawrence & Wishart, 
1969, p. 183. Finally, see the general remarks on the 
'greater manliness and self-dependence' exhibited by 
those villages on Salisbury Plain which did not have a 
squire 'who dominates everybody and everything', in 
William Henry Hudson, A Shepherd's Life: Impressions 
of the South Wiltshire Downs, 2nd edition, London, 
Methuen, 1910, pp. 312-313. 
6. Gregory C. Smith, 'Revolution or Counter- 

Revolution?: Religious Revival in Wiltshire, 1739- 
1850', PhD dissertation in progress, University of 

7. Landholding data were extracted from the following: 
Wiltshire Land Tax Assessments, WRO Al/334/1- 
462; R.E. Sandell, ed., Abstracts of Wiltshire Inclosure 
Awards and Agreements, Wiltshire Record Society 
vol.25, 1969; and R.E. Sandell, ed., Abstracts of Wil- 
tshire Tithe Apportionments, WRS vol.30, 1974. 

8. The model that I have used is based partially on the one 
that Dennis Mills used for Leicestershire. See Dennis 
R. Mills, Lord and Peasant in Nineteenth Century 
Britain, London: Croom Helm, 1980, pp. 73-78. 

9. J.H. Chandler, ed., Wiltshire Dissenters' Meeting House 
Certificates and Registrations, 1689-1852, WRS vol. 40, 

10. It should be pointed out that the sudden jump in the 
number of certificates that occurred in the 1790s was 
only affected slightly by administrative changes. In his 



house certificates (supported by a wealth of other 
evidence) show that during this time religious non- 
conformity sallied forth from its strongholds in the 
smallholder communities and made a massive assault 
on squire and parson dominated parishes all over the 
county. An analysis of two religious surveys from this 
period (those of 1829 and 1851) suggests that many of 
these new congregations did not last very long, but 
this hardly detracts from the extent of the achieve- 
ment." The main point here is that while religious 
nonconformity was indeed a product of the indepen- 
dent culture of smallholder communities, under 
certain conditions it could spread to types of com- 
munity where it would not normally be found. 

How useful then is the chalk and cheese model for 
predicting the location of religious dissent? 
Throughout the period, a larger proportion of clay 
communities had meeting houses registered than did 
any other geographical region, but not overwhelming- 
ly so. During the pre-revival period (1739-1779), 
meeting houses were registered in about 35 per cent of 
clay communities as opposed to about 12 per cent of 
chalk communities. In the greatest period of revival 
(1816-1850) this figure rose to about 88 per cent and 
70 per cent respectively. The other regions were, as 
always, somewhere in the middle. Clearly there was a 
connection between the clay vales and dissent, but the 
correlation is not so convincing that other factors can 
be ignored. 

The connection between dissent and smallholder 
communities, regardless of geographical region, was 
stronger. During the pre-revival period in the eight- 
eenth century, 50 per cent of smallholder commu- 
nities had registered meeting houses as opposed to 
only 6 per cent of the communities with the strongest 

landowning oligarchies (i.e. in which one to three 
owners held 75 per cent or more of the land). During 
the greatest period of revival these figures rose to 93 
per cent and 58 per cent respectively. Patterns of 
landholding are thus a better guide to the location of 
religious nonconformity than are geographical 
regions. Still, the correlation is not so strong that 
patterns of landholding can be taken as a sufficient 
explanation for the location of nonconformity. The 
presence of meeting houses in over half of the most 
'closed' category of parishes during the great period of 
revival must in itself show that other factors were at 
work as well. 

In conclusion, there is something to be said for the 
theory of chalk and cheese, but it must be treated with 
great care. The cheese country, meaning specifically 
the clay vales, did have the largest concentration of 
smallholder communities and smallholder commu- 
nities were the main centres of nonconformity. There- 
fore, logically, the clay vales had the largest 
concentrations of nonconformists. On the other hand, 
such places were present in smaller numbers all over 
the county. Furthermore, there were many clay par- 
ishes that were not smallholder communities; and to 
these communities religious nonconformity was as 
foreign and unwelcome (to the village elite at least) as 
to any squire and parson dominated village on the 

It is necessary also to realise that the cultural 
patterns generated by a particular type of community 
were not necessarily limited to that type of com- 
munity. As has been shown, from the 1790s onwards, 
religious nonconformity entered types of community 
where it was not generally to be expected. 12 In such a 
situation, neither patterns of landholding nor geogra- 

introduction, Chandler suggests that some certificates 
or registrations may have been lost between 1745 and 
1784, but that probably they were very few. Also, 
legislation making the registration of meeting houses 
compulsory would no doubt have caused an increase in 
their numbers; but such legislation was not passed 
until 1812, well after the increase had started. See 
Chandler, ed., op.cit., pp. xiii and xxvii. Finally, it has 
been suggested that 1798 had such a spectacular 
number of certificates because of the anti-dissent 
repression seemingly threatened by the Bishop of 
Salisbury's charge to the clergy in that year. This could 
not have been the only reason for the sudden influx, 
because it had actually started in 1797, well before the 
Bishop's speech. See D.J. Jeremy, 'A Local Crisis 
Between the Establishment and Nonconformity: the 
Salisbury Village Preaching Controversy, 1798-1799', 
Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 
61 (1966), p. 70. At the national level also, it has been 

suggested that the increasing flow of certificates in the 
1790s cannot possibly be explained by institutional 
changes. See Alan D. Gilbert, Religion and Society in 
Industrial England: Church, Chapel and Social Change, 
1740-1914, London, Longman Group, 1976, pp. 

11. Returns of Nonconformist Meetings 1829, WRO 
Al/752; Census of Religious Worship, 1851, PRO HO 

12. The early nineteenth century was not the only period in 
which religious dissent was present in a large propor- 
tion of Wiltshire parishes. The same appears to have 
been the case in the 1670s. See Donald Arragon 
Spaeth, 'Parsons and Parishioners: Lay-Clerical Con- 
flict and Popular Piety in Wiltshire Villages, 1660- 
1740', Unpublished PhD thesis, Brown University, 
1985, pp. 238-281. Spaeth says that dissent was 
'almost ubiquitious' at that time. 


phical region can offer an adequate explanation for the 
location of dissent. There must have been other 
factors at work as well. It is possible, for instance, that 
the intrusion of nonconformity into squire and parson 
dominated villages was partly a by-product of massive 
social and economic upheaval. 

Whatever other forces may have been at work, the 
point is that no single factor is sufficient in itself to 


explain such complex historical phenomena. Any 
attempt to do so is doomed to be inadequate at best. 
Instead, historians need constantly to be aware that 
events in history are caused by the intricate inter- 
weaving of many factors. Correlations between two or 
three sets of statistical data, as enticing as they are, 
cannot free historians from the need to search for 
further insights. 

Norton Manor: Transformed by Artist's Licence 


In 1966, I wrote an article about the discovery - after 
a long search which I had finally abandoned - of a 
picture of Norton Manor, near Malmesbury, painted 
by A. Provis for John Britton (Figure 1). The painting 
was purchased from Britton by Canon Jackson, and 
given by him to Lord Holland to whom the house 
then belonged. The picture's history was inscribed on 
the back in the hand-writing of Canon Jackson, the 
well-known Wiltshire historian, who was Vicar of 
Norton for forty years. 

The picture showed the porch, on the south front of 
the house, built in 1623, flanked by two gables. 
Obviously Provis had taken some artist's licence in 
minor details such as the drip-moulding and the 
window transoms which do not exist, but one believed 
in his faithfulness to the more important features, 
particularly as he was the son of an architect. It 
seemed, therefore, that the two gables shown in the 
picture must have been removed in the restoration 
carried out by Lord Holland not many years after the 
picture was painted; upon this premise I wrote the 
article remarking upon the notable change in the 
character of the house brought about by this bold 

Since that article was written, the house has passed 
from my father's ownership to that of my husband 
and myself, the picture - by the great generosity of 
the then owner - has come into our possession, and I 
have found another mention of it by Canon Jackson 
which has transformed not so much the house as the 
credibility of Provis' record. 'I note' wrote the Canon, 
'that Provis has moved the south porch to the west 
side of the house!' 

So one looks again at the changes that have taken 
place and, more important, those that have not. The 

south front (Figure 2), when we replace there the 
porch that Provis had moved in his imagination, has 
always been, as it is now, different from the typical 
Cotswold house in not having gables, and the beauti- 
ful porch is more striking because its top is seen 
flanked by the lowest line of roof tiles. 
The west side (Figure 3) has lost the gables which 
Provis painted, but one wonders now whether they 
ever existed except in his imagination. If they did, 
their removal and the substitution of a dormer 
window in the roof has not done anything dramatic 
for the appearance of this side of the house which was 
anyhow altered by the addition of a porch by my 
grandmother in 1925. 

During 1987, we had visits from two architectural 
experts, Dr T. Mowl who was doing the revising of 
listed buildings, and Dr A. P. Baggs who was working 
on the forthcoming Victoria County History volume 
dealing with this part of Wiltshire. Much discussion 
took place about the order in which the two parts of 
the house were built. The square block to the south is 
dated 1623, but the wing facing west is undated. The 
latter is of a simpler style, with smaller rooms, and it 
has always seemed to make sense that it was the older 
part, the original farmhouse, to which Thomas Work- 
man added the square block when he went up in the 
world and began to be described as 'gent'. It is, 
therefore, exasperating that the deed of 1652, when 
Workman's son sold the house, speaks of 'the house 
to the south of the capital messuage wherein Thomas 
Workman dwelt before the capital messuage was 
built' (WRO 11/310). 

There is no evidence that there was ever a house to 
the south, i.e. between the present house and the 
road, and if only the deed said 'north' instead of 



Figure 1. Norton Manor, c.1840, from the oil painting by A. Provis. Reproduced by permission of B.F.J. Pardoe, Esq. 

Figure 2. Norton Manor: south front 



Is r : M "> M r % Mr M :: ::s:;: 

Figure 3. Norton Manor: west front 

'south' it would make perfect sense. I maintain that it 
was a mistake that went unnoticed at the time and that 
'south' should have read 'north'. Dr Baggs, however, 
thought that the 1623 block was indeed built first and 
that the part to the north was added a few years later 
when Thomas Workman's son married. It is unlikely 
that we shall ever know the sequence with absolute 


badeni, j., 1966 'Norton Manor, near Malmesbury: a house 

transformed', WAM 61, 85-7 
JACKSON, canon j.e., (no date) Society of Antiquaries, 

Jackson Collection, Norton 
VCH (forthcoming). A History of Wiltshire, Vol. 14 
wro, Wiltshire Records Office 11/310 

Winter Storage for Bees 


One of the more intriguing problems faced by early 
beekeepers was that of overwintering their hives. 
Before the introduction in 1861 of the modern 
moveable-frame hive, bees were kept in straw hives 
(skeps) from which the bees had to be ejected before 
the honey in the skeps could be harvested. This 
usually resulted in the death of the colony. 

Not all skeps, however, were so treated. 
Beekeepers depended upon swarming, the overcrow- 
ding and resulting splitting up of colonies of bees, to 
replace those colonies killed in order to remove the 

honey. Therefore, some skeps, usually those of mid- 
dling weight, had to be carried over the winter. In 
order to survive, the bees required a constant cool but 
not freezing temperature, and protection from damp 
and wind. The cool temperature also discouraged 
them from consuming their winter stores of honey 
before they could replenish them in the spring. In the 
London Magazine of 1769 (356), an anonymous 
beekeeper advised putting the bee-filled skeps in an 
outhouse or even in an ice-house as it was 'the 
steadiest and greatest cold we have ... by all 




Figure 1: Winter Storage at Box, Wiltshire 



accounts the cold in Siberia does not kill the bees 
there and in Russia,where the winters are extremely 
severe, bees produce much honey: so I think there is 
not any danger to be feared from any degree of cold 
we can expose the bees to'. There is a very interesting 
ice-house at Highworth, near Swindon, with four 
recesses immediately outside the ice chamber. 
Recesses like these are apparently unusual in ice- 
houses (M. Ellis, personal communication) and they 
could have been used for winter storage of skeps. 

Another solution was the erection of special 
buildings solely for the overwintering of skeps. An 
example at Midmar, near Inverurie (Grampian) had 
forty interior recesses for hives; another, at St. Domi- 
nick, Cornwall had twelve (Crane, 1983, 319). 

However, ice-houses and winter bee houses were 
the prerogative of the wealthy, and beekeeping was 
practised at all levels of society. In Wiltshire, the bee 
boles recorded to date are found mainly on small 
farms and cottages (Foster, 1986, 176-183). For 
humbler beekeepers another method of overwintering 
had to be devised and it appears that the answer was 
to construct winter bee boles either in an outbuilding 
or in the cellar of the house itself. 

This solution is found throughout the country, but 
a number of these winter boles have only recently 
been recognized. In Kent, for example, no such 
recesses were recorded on the thirty-four sites known 
to have exterior bee boles. But in 1986, during a 
resurvey of some of the sites, four unsuspected sets of 
winter boles were discovered. One set, at St. Stephens 
near Canterbury, had nine cellar boles; there were 
twenty boles in the garden on the same property. 
Kentish boles are generally gabled and the examples 
of interior boles are of much the same shape and 
dimensions as those in the gardens outside. The same 
is true of the three Wiltshire examples so far 
discovered. Of course, it will usually be difficult to 
determine whether recesses in a house cellar were 
actually used to house skeps; there are other possible 
storage functions such as for fruit or wine. However, 
where there are exterior bee boles on a property and 
the dimensions of both inside and outside recesses are 
roughly equal, there must be a strong probability that 
the interior recesses were used for the overwintering 
of skeps. 

The Wilderness at Box provides a good example of 
this. In a north-facing garden wall are five rectangular 
recesses measuring approximately 0.54 m high x 0.61 
m broad x 0.30 m deep. In one corner of the cellar is a 

set of four stone recesses within a small alcove. The 
top two are each about 0.37 m high, 0.45 m broad and 
0.42 m deep. The middle and bottom recesses are 
simply formed respectively by a single shelf and the 
cellar floor. They are both 0.90 m broad and about 
0.30 m deep; the upper one is slightly shorter than the 
lower. These recesses could have held up to six skeps 
for overwintering. 

The possible winter storage at Belcombe Croft, 
Bradford-on-Avon, is similarly constructed in a cellar 
alcove but with six recesses, two on each of three 
levels. The top four are all approximately 0.42 m 
high, 0.51 m broad, and 0.31 m deep. The bottom 
two are the same breadth and depth, but 0.72 m high. 
This stone built set is very handsome and could have 
been used for several storage purposes other than 
skeps. Although in this instance there is no evidence 
of bee boles outside in the house or garden walls, it 
must be remembered that boles were not the usual 
method of housing skeps during the summer; most 
were simply set on stands in some sheltered part of the 
garden. Such skeps still needed adequate shelter 
during the winter and the Belcombe Croft cellar 
recesses may have served this purpose. 

The third instance in Wiltshire of winter storage for 
bees is the set of two at Willoughbys, Easterton. 
Here, outside the front door of the pre-Civil War 
house are two stone recesses. Inside, in the cellar, are 
two more and the owner, an enthusiastic former 
beekeeper, had an old skep with which he demon- 
strated the possible function of the recesses. The 
inside boles appear to be of brick set in a masonry wall 
and measure 0.30 m high, 0.33 m broad, and 0.26 m 

There are probably more examples of bee boles for 
winter storage at other Wiltshire sites. I would be 
grateful for any information concerning these or other 
bee boles in house or garden walls. I am certain that 
the last two types are more prevalent than the record 
presently indicates. 


ANON., 1769 'An Experiment for preventing the Waste of 
Honey, and preserving the Lives of Bees during the 
Winter', The London Magazine, (July), 356 

CRANE. E., 1983 The Archaeology of Beekeeping, London 

ELLIS, M., 1982 Ice and Icehouses through the Ages, South- 
ampton, University of Southampton Industrial Archaeo- 
logy Group 

foster, A.M., 1986 'Bee Boles in Wiltshire', WAM 80, 



The Conservation of Unimproved Neutral Grassland in Wiltshire 



For many years, the conservation movement in Wilt- 
shire has rightly concentrated on protecting areas of 
chalk downland which are important nationally. 
Much less attention has been paid to the diminishing 
number of flower filled hay meadows and damp 
pastures which are known technically as 'unimproved 
neutral grassland'. This note discusses the effect of 
grassland management on botanical diversity, docu- 
ments the recent upsurge in work on meadows and 
pastures, and looks to the future. 

Conservationists refer to grassland in terms of the 
degree of 'improvement' imposed upon it by modern 
agriculture. Improvement is the process of increasing 
grassland productivity through intensive techniques 
such as land drainage or the application of artificial 
fertilizer. This is an understandable objective but 
unfortunately it leads to a progressive and irreversible 
decline in diversity of flora and fauna. Thus it is 
'unimproved' grassland which is of greatest nature 
conservation interest because it usually holds a rich 
community of grasses and herbs. Prolonged agricultu- 
ral improvement creates a very species-poor 
'improved' sward, which has passed through the 
intermediate 'semi-improved' stage. 

Grasslands can also be subdivided according to the 
acidity (pH) of the soils on which they occur. Three 
major types are recognized: acidic grassland, almost 
non-existent in Wiltshire due to the scarcity of acidic 
soils; calcareous grassland, widespread but restricted 
to chalk and limestone outcrops; and neutral grass- 
land, widespread on neutral soils, most typically on 
clay or alluvium. 

The specific group of grasslands under considera- 
tion here is unimproved and neutral, and therefore 
characterized by a traditionally managed, botanically 
rich sward, restricted to non-chalk soils. 


Large areas of neutral grassland occur in Wiltshire 
but only small scattered remnants are unimproved 
and species rich. These have survived because of a 
continuous history of traditional management in the 
form of haymaking or regular light grazing. A typical 
hayfield regime of benefit to flora and fauna is 
described as follows: 
1 . Stock is kept off the meadows from early spring 

until haymaking time, thus allowing uninterrupted 
grass growth. 

2. Hay is cut in July or August, by which time most 
plants have set seed, and insects and birds have bred 

3. Stock grazes the land during the autumn, so that 
coarse grasses are kept in check and there is a 
minimum amount of vegetation left to decay during 
the winter. 

4. Rolling and chain harrowing are carried out as 
necessary during the spring to maintain an even soil 
surface and keep the sward open. 

5. Farmyard manure is spread once every two or three 
years, thus maintaining soil fertility but not increasing 
it (silt deposition on regularly flooded sites has a 
similar effect). 

A favourable pasture system differs only in that 
fields are lightly grazed through the summer rather 
than shut up for hay. 

The first attempts to improve grassland in medieval 
times did not generally have a lasting detrimental 
effect. This is why fields with ridge and furrow 
(evidence of repeated strip ploughing) often support 
herb-rich hay meadows. Similarly some of the richest 
damp pastures occur on disused water meadows 
where grass growth was encouraged by regular con- 
trolled flooding from the sixteenth century to the late 
nineteenth century. However, such sites have been 
managed non-intensively for a considerable period 
since ploughing or flooding ceased. 


When traditional management is replaced by more 
modern methods the sward loses its diversity. This 
process can be brought about by any combination of 
the following: 

1. Ploughing and reseeding; existing plant 
populations are killed and a new sward is artificially 

2. Spraying of herbicides; depending on the chemical 
used, a large proportion of the plant species can be 

3. Drainage; wet loving plants die out as the water 
table drops. Drier ground also facilitates further 

4. Early cutting, usually for silage; diversity dimi- 
nishes because plants and animals are unable to 


complete their life cycles successfully before the 
cutting date. 

5. Application of artificial fertilizer; the greatest single 
threat to unimproved grassland in Wiltshire because it 
is now so widely practised. The damage is not 
instantaneous but, over a number of years, the 
increased nitrogen supply encourages competitive 
grasses to flourish at the expense of fine-leaved grasses 
and the rarer herbs. Ultimately the latter disappear 
altogether, as do any dependent populations of invert- 

Other detrimental effects can be caused by over- 
stocking or by putting out supplementary feed for 
stock. Both practices may lead to an influx of plants 
such as docks Rurnex spp. and plantains Plantago spp. 
which are typical of disturbed ground. 



MG5 This hay meadow community occurs 
throughout the county on non-calcareous soils 
(usually clays) which often support ridge and furrow 
systems. Three sub-communities have been identified 
and all are species rich. Although nationally rare 
plants are not present, there is a good selection of 
locally uncommon and declining meadow plants such 
as Green-winged orchid Orchis mono, Meadow thistle 
Cirsium dissectum, Adder's-tongue Ophioglossum vul- 
gatum and Spring sedge Carex caryophyllea. 
MG8 This type of neutral grassland is largely wet 
pasture, frequently occurring on the sites of disused 
water-meadows. Again there are few species which 
cannot be found in healthy populations elsewhere. 
Nevertheless the habitat is very species rich and 
boasts a large number of wet loving plants including 
Marsh valerian Valeriana dwica, Bogbean Menyanthes 
tnfoliata, Fen bedstraw Galium uliginosum and Brown 
sedge Carex disticha. 

The present day farmer has access to a wide range of 
modern agricultural technology, so it is not surprising 
to discover that very little unimproved neutral grass- 
land can now be found in the county. In the early 
years of the twentieth century this type of habitat 
occurred commonly throughout the clay vales of 
north and west Wiltshire and more locally in the south 
and east. Much botanically rich land was lost to the 
plough during the Second World War and since then 
the trend has been for continued land improvement. 
Today herb-rich neutral hay meadows are scattered 
within the clay vales, occurring typically in fields 
furthest from roads and farm buildings. Herb-rich 
pasture is largely restricted to very damp alluvial 
floodplains, especially along the course of the Salis- 
bury Avon and its tributaries. 

The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) 
system recognizes twelve subdivisions (or community 
types) of mesotrophic (or neutral) grassland. Only 
three types are of relevance here, the remainder being 
either absent from the county or of little botanical 
significance. Each important Wiltshire community is 
now dealt with in turn (MG designates mesotrophic 

MG4 This is a herb-rich hay meadow community 
which in Wiltshire is restricted to the extreme north, 
where gravel deposits overlie Oxford Clay. Two large 
sites of national importance and one smaller area are 
virtually the only remnants of what was once a locally 
common community type. Plants typical of such 
grassland are Fritillary Fritillaria meleagns, Great 
burnet Sanguisorba officinalis, Pepper-saxifrage Silaum 
silaus and Meadow vetchling Lathyrus pratensis. 


As late as the early 1980s very little was known about 
the distribution, extent and quality of unimproved 
neutral grassland in Wiltshire. Nevertheless it was 
appreciated that the habitat was becoming very scarce 
and that detailed survey work was urgently needed. In 
1984 the Wiltshire Trust for Nature Conservation 
(WTNC) assembled two small teams of botanists, 
under a Manpower Services Commission scheme, in 
order to carry out a two year study of Wiltshire's 
semi-natural ancient woodlands and unimproved 
neutral grasslands. Extensive searches in likely parts 
of the county resulted in the initial identification and 
subsequent detailed survey of a total of 210 fields 
covering 662 hectares. At each site the frequency of all 
species was noted as was the abundance of species in 
two randomly placed quadrats, each one metre 
square. From this information NVC types were 
determined and the botanical diversity of each site 
was evaluated. Finally the richest or 'priority' sites 
were identified. All data were confidential. 

The WTNC survey was a great step forward and 
had many positive repercussions, although it must be 
emphasized that probably no more than fifteen per 
cent of North Wiltshire was systematically searched. 
A much higher percentage of neutral grassland was 
investigated in the south of the county due to the 
more predictable location of fields in well defined 
river valleys. Overall a considerable amount of land 
was not surveyed. There has been a limited amount of 
further survey during 1986 and 1987. 

In 1987 the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) 



funded a four month meadow survey contract which 
aimed to expand upon information already gathered 
by WTNC and other surveyors. Most of the contract 
period was devoted to intensive survey of sites known 
to be among the best in the county, with a view to 
notifying some of these as Sites of Special Scientific 
Interest (SSSIs). A small amount of time was devoted 
to a more general survey involving the classification of 
a large number of fields according to degree of 

Grassland chosen for intensive survey included 
most of the priority sites already examined and a 
number of recently discovered areas. The survey 
method was similar to that used by the WTNC but 
required the recording of five quadrats per com- 
munity rather than two. This detailed approach 
should have made community classification more 
straightforward, but in practice this was not always 
the case; for example, both NCC and WTNC sur- 
veyors experienced difficulty in differentiating 
between the three sub-communities of MG5, 
regardless of the number of quadrats used. However, 
this and other minor inconsistencies were no more 
than would be expected when applying a national 
classification to regional data. Only three sites were 
unclassifiable but this in itself was a useful indicator of 
their individuality and botanical importance. 

A short period in early May was set aside for a less 
intensive survey with the aim of identifying the extent 
of meadow improvement in a sample area. The 
Ordnance Survey grid square SU08 was chosen for 
the survey, representing 100 square kilometres of 
typical Wiltshire neutral grassland. The approach was 
to inspect briefly as many fields as possible within the 
grid square and to assign each field to one of four 
categories: arable, improved, semi-improved, and 
unimproved. In the short time available, 450 fields 
were inspected, representing approximately one 
quarter of SU08. Data analysis showed that of these 
fields 75 per cent were either arable or improved and 
less than three per cent were unimproved. It is likely 
that other parts of Wiltshire with neutral soils hold a 
similar proportion of unimproved neutral grassland. 


The most effective way to secure long term conser- 
vation of unimproved neutral grassland is through its 
purchase by a conservation body. Three sites in 
Wiltshire have this protection: one is a National 
Nature Reserve owned largely by the NCC, and two 
are WTNC nature reserves. All three have the added 

protection of SSSI status, a designation which was 
first introduced in the 1949 National Parks and Access 
to the Countryside Act. Unfortunately the legislation 
was not designed to prevent agricultural improvement 
and consequently few of the notified sites have 
remained species rich. However, the 1949 Act was 
superseded in 1981 by the Wildlife and Countryside 
Act which provides a much improved system of site 
safeguard. Under this latest legislation the number of 
SSSIs has been steadily rising, incorporating 
examples of all three major MG types. That this has 
been possible is due, in no small measure, to the 
increased availability of meadow survey data. 

Only the very best areas can be notified as SSSIs, so 
there remain a large number of botanically rich sites 
without legal protection. Unless there are changes in 
agricultural policy it seems likely that most of these 
unprotected sites will sooner or later become 
improved, even if the present occupier adopts a 
pro-conservation approach. In an attempt to hold off 
improvement for as long as possible, the WTNC and 
the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group have 
helped to establish a number of 'Farm Wildlife Areas' 
on sympathetically managed farms. A further ini- 
tiative from the WTNC involves a network of mem- 
bers who try to maintain contact with owners of the 
best sites surveyed during 1984 and 1985. This should 
encourage the continuation of favourable manage- 
ment and, at the very least, provide early warning of 
possible change. 

The number of SSSIs protecting unimproved 
neutral grassland in Wiltshire has risen to double 
figures for the first time. Several more sites may be 
added in the next few years forming a core of 
botanically rich neutral meadows and pastures which 
are permanently safeguarded. However, there are 
many other sites of only slightly less conservation 
value and it is highly desirable that these should 
receive similar protection through, perhaps, WTNC 
ownership. The NCC is unlikely to buy land in the 
foreseeable future and is, in any case, restricted to 
land of SSSI status. Unfortunately there is little 
prospect of the WTNC buying more than a handful of 
non-SSSI meadows during the next decade. Thus 
there exists an obvious need for a Meadow Trust (a 
counterpart of the Woodland Trust) with the pur- 
chase and management of unimproved neutral grass- 
land as sole objectives. 

No mention has yet been made of attempts to 
reduce Europe's cripplingly expensive food moun- 
tains. Attempts by the European Economic Com- 
munity to limit food production are, however, sure to 
affect grassland conservation to some extent. On the 



debit side, it is possible that large areas may be 
afforested, built over or left unmanaged. On the 
credit side there may be an extension of the recently 
introduced (although not yet in Wiltshire) concept of 
Environmentally Sensitive Areas, which provides for 
annual payments to be made to farmers who agree to 
follow traditional methods of grassland management. 
Such a scheme would decrease significantly the 
pressure on unimproved neutral grassland but only 
for as long as the financial inducements continued. It 
is, however, possible that excessive pollution of 
ground-water by nitrates may soon force a permanent 
decrease in the use of artificial fertilizer. 


Flower-rich hay meadows and damp pastures were 
once abundant in Wiltshire but have now been red- 

uced to a small proportion of their former extent. This 
is largely due to the replacement of traditional 
farming methods by modern intensive agriculture. 
The continued threat to unimproved neutral grass- 
land has encouraged the WTNC and the NCC to 
undertake detailed survey work (still far from 
completion) followed by measures to safeguard the 
best land. Unfortunately such measures, which 
include SSSI designation and WTNC purchase, 
cannot be applied to more than a small proportion of 
botanically rich sites. The fate of the unprotected 
areas cannot be viewed with much optimism. 

Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Ann Skinner 
(WTNC), Lorna Slade (NCC), Penny Wakefield (NCC) and Jane 
Brookhouse (NCC) for reading and commenting on the text; mem- 
bers of NCC and WTNC survey teams for providing data; and Hazel 
Kelly for preparing the tyescript. 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 176-182. 

Excavation and Fieldwork in Wiltshire 1987 

Amesbury: King Barrow (Amesbury G30); (SU 
134423); Prehistoric 

Bowl barrow Amesbury G30 (Wiltshire AM 138e), 
was damaged during the autumn hurricane when a 
large beech tree growing on the edge of the mound 
blew over, removing a section of mound in its roots. 
The material removed from the roots was excavated 
and recorded by Julian Richards on behalf of the 
National Trust (Trust for Wessex Archaeology Pro- 
ject No. 32022). A large flint assemblage was pro- 
duced, together with considerable quantities of 
animal bone and pottery of Late Neolithic and Bronze 
Age date, including grooved ware. Environmental 
samples were also taken. 

Amesbury: Vespasian's Camp (SU 146417); Iron Age 
and Roman 

Limited excavation was undertaken by Kurt Hunter- 
Mann to assess the survival and nature of any archaeo- 
logical stratigraphy at the hillfort. One trench in the 
interior showed that the archaeological deposits on the 
crest of the hill had been heavily damaged by post- 
medieval ploughing. Two trenches across the rampart 
produced evidence for at least two phases of its 
construction, probably both of Iron Age date, sup- 
porting the findings from work in 1964 (RCHM(E) 
1979, 20). Stratified pottery also indicates some form 
of Roman activity within the hillfort. 
RCHM (E), 1979 Stonehenge and its Environs, Edinburgh. 

Blunsdon St Andrew: Bushy Mead (SU 150924); 
Romano-British and Medieval 

Field walking, by the Thamesdown Archaeological 
Unit, took place in 1986 in a field immediately west of 
Ashmead Brake which was being planted for fore- 
sting. Sixty Romano-British and six medieval sherds 
were recovered. Trenching across three of the 
denuded Ffighworth circles revealed no dating evi- 
dence for the circles in the ditches, but the sections 
closely matched those found by Gingell at Stratton St 
Margaret (WAM 74/75, 1979-80, 61-68). 

Blunsdon St Andrew: Chapel Farm (SU 12759125); 


A topsoil scrape on Chapel Farm caught the edge of 

an earthwork complex known from aerial photo- 

graphs. Investigation by the Thamesdown Archaeo- 
logical Unit yielded hundreds of medieval pottery 
sherds, from features closely related to the enclosures 
as well as floor surfaces, suggesting that this is the site 
of a deserted medieval village, probably Lower 

Blunsdon St Andrew and Haydon Wick: Northern 
Development Area (SU 134892); Prehistoric, 
Romano-British, Medieval and Post-Medieval 
Field walking and earthwork surveys, by the Thames- 
down Archaeological Unit, of the whole of the pro- 
posed Northern Development Area, have revealed a 
number of areas of interest which will be further 
investigated in the near future. The largest site is 
centred on St Andrew's Church, Blunsdon, where 
considerable amounts of Romano-British and Medie- 
val pottery have been found, as well as earthworks 
located around the possible Medieval fishpond at 
Blunsdon Abbey. Further earthworks have been 
recorded at Haydon End. Pottery scatters suggest 
possible sites at Mouldon Hill and Lower Tadpole 
Farm, the latter also producing a number of worked 
flints, including a hand axe. 

Chippenham: various locations; Medieval 
The Wiltshire Rescue Archaeology Project (WRAP), 
a Manpower Services Commission unit based at 
Chippenham Technical College and led by Mark 
Leah, has undertaken field survey work to the west of 
Sheldon Manor where there are possible traces of 
medieval settlement. A programme of fieldwalking 
was carried out over the winter in those areas of 
Chippenham threatened by development under the 
town's expansion scheme. 

Chisbury: Chisbury Hillfort (SU 278661); Post- 

A small-scale excavation was undertaken by WRAP in 
advance of building work in the grounds of Chisbury 
Manor. The area proved to be highly disturbed and 
only post-medieval dump layers were encountered. 

Chitterne: Fighting in Built-up Areas (FIBUA) Vil- 
lage, Salisbury Plain; Prehistoric 
Investigative excavation, supervised by Julian Rich- 
ards for the Trust for Wessex Archaeology (TWA 



Project No. 31762), produced evidence of several 
ditches which may form part of an enclosure on the 
flat ridge top of Copehill Down. Evidence of a 
substantial flint industry gives a suggested date in the 
earlier Neolithic period. Clusters of postholes were 
also encountered: they may be of the same period, 
though no artefacts were obtained from them. 

Cricklade: Prior Park School (SU 103935); Romano- 
British, Saxon and Medieval 

A trench was dug, by the Thamesdown Archaeologi- 
cal Unit, through the line of the Saxon burghal 
defences, on a site reserved by the school for a 
swimming pool. Thirteenth century pits showed that 
the rampart was out of use and partially levelled by 
that time. Most of the retaining wall at the front of the 
earthwork had been robbed out, so little can be said 
about the construction or dating of the wall. Below 
the rampart a buried soil produced a few Romano- 
British sherds as well as a small ditch-like feature, 
containing Romano-British coarseware sherds. 

Lydiard Tregoze: Wick Farm (SU 1 1 1849); Medieval 
and Post-Medieval 

A survey, by the Thamesdown Archaeological Unit, 
of the earthworks around the farm complex and in the 
field to the south of it shows a series of earthen 
platforms as well as the probable former course of 
Hay Lane, and a further holloway. Trial trenches 
recently started have so far failed to find features 
earlier than the eighteenth century. A single trench 
close to the holloway unexpectedly revealed Romano- 
British features, lending support to the suggestion 
that the field to the south, Blacklands, owes its name 
to the charcoal found in the soil, a waste product of 
the Romano-British kiln industry for which plenty of 
evidence has been found close by. 

Norton Bavant: Round Barrow at Mootlebury (ST 
905427); Bronze Age, Iron Age and Romano-British 
C.J. Gingell, for the Trust for Wessex Archaeology 
(Project No. 31752), has recorded the excavation of a 
round barrow encountered during the opening of a 
borrow pit to provide chalk for construction of the 
A36 Warminster Bypass. The barrow, 46 m in overall 
diameter, was surrounded by a flat-bottomed, 
straight-sided ditch, 2.2 m wide and 1.1 m deep, 
- whose form, together with the absence of a central 
mound, is consistent with its identification as a disc 
barrow. A large central grave contained an inhu- 
mation accompanied by a Wessex dagger, knife 
dagger and pottery cup, surrounded by a marked 
shadow of organic staining. The barrow was cut by 

several small ditches of Romano-British date. Nearby, 
at the entrance to the borrow pit, a small pit contain- 
ing Iron Age pottery was excavated. 

Pewsey Vale; mainly Medieval 
Survey work by the WRAP unit has been concen- 
trated on the Pewsey Vale area. Scheduled medieval 
earthworks covering an area of c. 12 ha to the west of 
the village of Etchilhampton were surveyed. In addi- 
tion, large areas of earthworks, of probable medieval 
and later date, were surveyed in and around the 
villages of Alton Barnes and Alton Priors. The survey 
included a several hundred metre stretch of the 
Ridgeway, which at this point in the Vale consists of a 
substantial holloway. 

Purton: North View Hospital (SU 08558750); 

Development work uncovered a previously unknown 
Romano-British walled cemetery with some unusually 
rich burials. Two stone outer coffins were rescued by 
the Thamesdown Archaeological Unit; they included 
one inhumation in an inner lead coffin which also 
contained a fragmentary glass bottle, and some cloth 
surviving on and around the body. A cremation burial 
was set in a stone ossuarium, with a lead outer con- 
tainer decorated with scallop shells and St Andrew's 
Crosses. Inside this was a bulbous glass vessel con- 
taining the cremated remains. A 30 m stretch of 
boundary wall was located, with pebbled surfaces 
inside and out. A circular wall, about 10 m in 
diameter, surrounded the richer inhumation men- 
tioned above. Parts of four burials with no associated 
coffins were also recorded. 

Ramsbury: The Gallery, Back Lane (SU 27487465); 
Medieval and Post-Medieval 

An investigation of a site northeast of the churchyard, 
and historically owned by the church, was undertaken 
by the Thamesdown Archaeological Unit. The posi- 
tion of the site, in the centre of the village and near to 
the church, increased the possibility that it could be 
on or near the site of the Bishop's Palace. Unfor- 
tunately, eighteenth century terracing had removed 
much of the archaeological deposits, but a sill beam 
trench was located, as well as possible stone founda- 
tions of a large building. No dating evidence was 
found for these earliest phases on the site. 

Salisbury: Old Sarum (SU 137327); Medieval 
Julian Richards, for the Trust for Wessex Archaeo- 
logy (Project No. 31852), reports that a photographic 
survey and a small-scale excavation were conducted in 



the postern tower area of the castle in advance of 
consolidation work by English Heritage. 

Salisbury: various locations; Medieval and Post- 

Small-scale excavations, supervised by John Hawkes 
for the Trust for Wessex Archaeology (Project No. 
31552), took place within the medieval urban area of 
Salisbury. The project was assisted by a Manpower 
Services Commission Community Programme 
Scheme and received additional financial support 
from English Heritage, Wiltshire County Council, 
Salisbury District Council and Gibbs Mew pic. 

Goddards Garage (SU 14673010) 
A machine-excavated trench from the St Edmund's 
Church Street frontage into the interior of Three Cups 
Chequer produced no evidence of pre-modern 
activity. The area of the trench is shown as open space 
on the Ordnance Survey map of 1880, and it now 
appears unlikely that the site had ever been previously 
occupied. Records of the excavation will be deposited 
in Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum under 
Accession Number 8/1990; no further publication is 

Gibbs Mew Extension (SU 14702981) 
Further excavations within the Gigant Street Car Park 
followed investigations carried out in 1986. In 
advance of construction of the Gibbs Mew brewery 
extension, a narrow trench from the Gigant Street 
frontage running into the interior of Trinity Chequer 
was stripped by machine and subsequently hand- 
excavated. Although, as expected, the survival of 
medieval frontage buildings was poor, the site did 
provide an opportunity to examine backland deposits 
and the possibility of locating the course of the town 

Underlying a stone wall at the frontage, was a row 
of five timber stakes which may have been the 
underpinning of the early fourteenth century 
building, or part of an earlier, pre-stone construc- 
tional phase. The tips of the stakes were preserved in 
waterlogged levels; analysis and, possibly, radiocar- 
bon dating of them will be carried out as part of the 
post-excavation programme. 

Behind the building line, the backland deposits 
comprised a homogenous soil, up to 1.5 m thick, with 
no evidence of features cut into it. Recovery of 
medieval and post-medieval pottery, at different 
levels within the soil profile, suggests stratification, 
although no differentiation of layers could be 
observed. Nineteenth century buildings had trun- 
cated the deposits at the rear (western) end of the 

trench, but it was clear that the town ditch was not 
present within the site. 

At the time of writing (November 1987), exca- 
vations have recently commenced at 47^19 Brown 
Street and its associated backland area (SU 
14642980). The site adjoins the Gibbs Mew exca- 
vation; it will provide a nearly continuous east-west 
transect across Trinity Chequer and presents oppor- 
tunities to examine the composition of the backland 
deposits in more detail, to locate the town ditch, to 
establish the full constructional details of the frontage 
building, and to examine the environmental evidence 
from the pre-urban levels. 

Sandy Lane: Verlucw (ST 986673); PRoman 
Sectioning of a substantial bank in woodland was 
undertaken by the WRAP unit. A probable Roman 
date is given for its construction. 

Swindon: Old Town (SU 157836); various dates 
including Medieval and Post-Medieval 
Work continues on archaeological investigation by the 
Thamesdown Archaeological Unit of the Old Town 
area, in advance of planned development. A number 
of different trenches have produced evidence of a 
considerable amount of post-medieval activity, and 
remains of an eighteenth century garden. A medieval 
stone boundary wall has been excavated, and residual 
finds, from prehistoric flints to Romano-British pot- 
tery, have also been recovered. 

Trowbridge: Trowbridge Castle (ST 855579); Bronze 
Age, Iron Age and Medieval 

Excavations on the site of Trowbridge Castle, in 
advance of the redevelopment of the centre of the 
town, commenced in 1986 with a series of investigat- 
ive trenches. Work on a larger scale continued in 

Four trenches were excavated, three to the north of 
Court Street, Trenches C, D and E, and one to the 
south, Trench F (see Figure 1). Trenches C, D and E 
all lay within the area of the castle's outer bailey, and 
Trenches C and D included sections across its western 
defences; Trench F revealed parts of the defences of 
the inner bailey. The excavations have broadly con- 
firmed the lines of the castle as suggested previously 
(for example, Rogers 1986), and also defined their 

The outer bailey defences consisted of a substantial 
moat, up to 10 m wide and 3.5 m deep. The area of 
the bailey seems to have been made up with clay from 
the moat, creating a level platform on the hillside, 
after which a clay bank was built around the moat's 





Figure 1. Trowbridge Castle: the Early Saxon and Saxo-Norman Settlement 

Key: 1, Sunken-featured building; 2, Early Saxon post-hole structure; 3, earlier medieval working floor; 4, Saxo-Norman 

church and graveyard excavated in 1977; 5, boundary ditch pre-dating graves at the western end of the graveyard; 6 and 7, 

settlement/graveyard boundary ditch; 8, possible earlier medieval post-holes; 9, timber structure and hearths; 10, refuse pits; 

11, setting of four large post-pits, possibly a primary phase of the Anarchy Period castle. 

Note: the main features of the castle are not shown on this figure, in order not to obscure the underlying settlement 

features. Trench A is also omitted. 

inner edge. In Trench D, the back of the bank was 
excavated, and showed a succession of revetments, 
including one of stone. The base of the bank seems to 
have been at least 10 m wide. 

The evidence for the inner bailey defences was 
similar; a substantial ditch backed by a wide bank of 
clay. Evidence for its date of construction comes only 
from the material sealed beneath its banks; preli- 
minary examination of the pottery from these deposits 
does not contradict the documentary evidence which 
suggests that the castle was constructed during the 
Anarchy Period wars in the second quarter of the 

thirteenth century. Evidence of activity within the 
castle was sparse. But a large rectangular pit, origin- 
ally with a timber cover, may have been a cistern in 
the outer bailey. 

The construction of the castle's clay ramparts 
sealed and protected evidence of the earlier occupa- 
tion of the site (Figure 1). Extensive traces of a 
Saxo-Norman settlement were found, which may 
have had its focus on the small stone church excavated 
in 1977 (Canham, forthcoming). During recent work 
10 graves were excavated on the western edge of the 
church's burial ground. These cut into the fill of a 



north-south ditch which may have been an early 
boundary to the churchyard. This ditch may also have 
been contemporary with the other two ditches exca- 
vated, which may have defined the properties or fields 
of the settlement along its south and west sides. 
Post-holes and hearths in Trench D suggest 
buildings, as do concentrations of post-holes in 
Trench C. 

In Trench F the Saxo-Norman graves and ditches 
were cut into layers of soil which sealed the remains of 
two earlier buildings. One of these was a sunken- 
featured building or grubenhaus. Subrectangular in 
shape with a post-hole centrally placed at each end, the 
structure had been cut down through the subsoil to 
allow a clay floor to be laid on the bedrock. This was 
covered by a thin, silty loam containing fragments of 
animal bone and pottery, a clay spindle whorl and a 
hone stone. Fragments of clay loom-weights found in 
the fill of the later graves may have come from this 
floor. The second buiiding was similar in shape and 
size, but was represented only by post-holes. 

Later prehistoric occupation of the site was seen in 
a single row of shallow post-holes in Trench E, and a 
square setting of four deep post-holes in Trench F. 
Preliminary examination of pottery from the former 
post-holes suggests a Middle Bronze Age date, while 
material from the latter may date to the Early Iron 

The central part of the site south of Court Street 
still awaits excavation, and a considerable area- 
investigation around Trench F is planned. 
The excavations were funded by English Heritage, 
West Wiltshire District Council, Wiltshire County 
Council and the developers. The fieldwork was ini- 
tially directed by R.J.C. Smith in 1986, and in 1987 
by A.H. Graham; Susan M. Davies organised and 
coordinated the project (No. 3013) for the Trust for 
Wessex Archaeology. 


CANHAM, R., forthcoming, Trowbridge Castle Excavations 

ROGERS, K., 1984 The Book of Trowbridge, Buckingham 

West Ashton, near Westbury (ST 879540); multiper- 
iod, including Early Iron Age 

A multiperiod site was discovered during the laying of 
a new pipe line by the water authority. Excavation, by 
the WRAP unit, revealed traces of working hollows, 
post holes and shallow pits, the main phase of which 
probably dates to the Early Iron Age. 

West Kennet: palisaded enclosure (SU 111682); Late 
Neolithic and Romano-British 

Trial excavations by Dr Alasdair Whittle of the 
Department of Archaeology, University College, 
Cardiff, confirmed the existence of a double palisaded 
enclosure in the Kennet valley at West Kennet. The 
site had been very partially observed in a pipeline 
trench in the early 1970s by the Vatchers, and was 
also visible on a Cambridge (St Joseph) aerial photo- 
graph (No. FC 28) taken in June 1950. 

In the one field and adjacent meadow investigated, 
the site consists of double concentric arcs, butted on 
the Kennet, and enclosing an area of 135 by 70 m, but 
it is clear that this plan is incomplete, and that the 
long axis of what is probably a semicircular enclosure 
could reach over 200 m. The arcs are formed by 
ditches set about 25 to 30 m apart, the outer ditch 
being narrower than the inner. In both, a limited 
number of cuttings showed a close-set line of posts, 
from 25 to 40 cm in diameter, along the ditches. The 
posts were mostly set into the base of the ditches, 
from 2 to 2.7 m deep, and had been held upright and 
firm by deliberate backfill. In several cuttings it was 
seen that sarsen stone had been used as further 
packing material and in the deepest cutting it had 
been used on an extravagant scale; large stones were 
packed around large posts set 2.7 m deep, an unusual 
combination of the megalithic and the megadendric. 
Several of the posts may have been burnt, and all had 
rotted in situ. 

Animal bone was recovered from the ditches; some 
of this too had been burnt. Flint consistent with a 
Late Neolithic date was found in small quantities; 
four antler samples have been accepted by the British 
Museum laboratory for C14 dating. A little interior 
occupation was found, and a natural channel with 
Romano-British material was investigated. For the 
present the hypothesis is attractive that this is a Late 
Neolithic timber enclosure, perhaps of non-domestic 
function, and probably of short duration. Its presence 
is a reminder of how much more there is to be 
discovered of prehistoric settlements and monuments 
in the Avebury area. Further excavation is planned, as 
part of a wider project to investigate Neolithic 
settlement and environment in the region. 

West Lavington: Strawberry Hill Reservoir (SU 
000525); prehistoric and multiperiod 
The construction, in 1986, of a water pipeline from 
Chitterne to West Ashton, provided an opportunity 
for the Trust for Wessex Archaeology to record 
several previously unknown sites dating from the 
Neolithic to Romano-British periods. Investigations 
at Strawberry Hill were recorded by M.J. Allen and 
Peter W. Cox. Here, evidence for mesolithic activity 



was supplemented by new discoveries, in the pipeline 
easement, of a concentration of Late Bronze Age to 
Romano-British settlement features. On the northern 
slopes of the hill two minor dry valleys were identi- 
fied, extending into the pipeline easement and con- 
taining colluvial deposits. The valleys terminated in 
combes upslope from the pipeline, in an area where 
Wessex Water Authority was to construct a new 

In July 1987, the TWA commenced examination of 
the reservoir site with the intention of establishing the 
extent of the colluvium, and then to excavate a sample 
transect to provide artefactual and molluscan evidence 
for environmental episodes in the area. Mechanically- 
excavated transects revealed that only the most west- 
erly combe contained any significant depth of deposits 
and this area was examined further. A total depth of 
3.3 m of colluvium was revealed. Within this deposit, 
2.0 m of calcareous colluvium overlay a buried soil 
complex with a possible turf line, all of which sealed 
two ditches at the base of the combe. Artefactual 
evidence suggests that the buried soil dates to the later 
Bronze Age, but no dating evidence is currently 
available for the underlying features. The full analysis 
of the molluscan samples and a site report are being 
prepared by the excavator, Mike Allen. The work has 
received full financial support from the Wessex Water 

West Overton: North Farm round barrow (SU 
13866861); Late Neolithic - Late Bronze Age and 

Between April and September Mrs Gillian Swanton 
and Dr John Evans (University College Cardiff) exca- 
vated a ploughed out round barrow at North Farm, 
West Overton. The site, West Overton G19, could be 
seen as a slight upward deviation in the natural profile 
of the hill, as a chalk smear in plough, as a crop mark 
in Spring Barley in 1986, and on Cambridge (St 
Joseph) aerial photographs (Nos. AW 30 and VP 86). 
The barrow is one of an extensive group of ploughed 
out barrows and ring ditches north of the River 
Kennet and east of the Sanctuary and the barrow 
cemetery on Overton Hill. 

The aims of the excavation were: 

1. To excavate the site before it was totally 

2. To investigate any possible link between activi- 
ties on the hillside and colluvial deposits in the nearby 
river valley below 

3. To give amateurs an opportunity to take part in 
an excavation 

The earliest signs of activity appear to date from the 

Late Neolithic, when the apparently incomplete and 
dismembered body of an adult male was deposited in 
a pit. At a later date, possibly early Beaker, another 
body was inhumed in the same grave. It was 
crouched, with its head to the east, and may have 
been bound. Due to subsequent disturbance of the 
upper abdomen, possibly relatively soon after burial, 
any grave goods deposited with the body had vanished 
except for a few pottery fragments. At this stage, the 
burial pit appears to have been covered by a small 
barrow and surrounded by a ditch. 

Between this stage and the next major use of the 
site, as a burial area, it grassed over, was ploughed 
during the Beaker period, and developed another 

During the Early Bronze Age the site was used for 
the burial of an adolescent, aged about 14, 
accompanied by beads of jet and amber. Nearby there 
was the burial of a young infant. Both burials were 
crouched, and over them was raised a presumably large 
mound with a deep ditch which survived to a depth of 
about 2 m on the northern, upper side of the site. 

As the mound has been ploughed out it is impos- 
sible to tell to what extent it was used for the insertion 
of further burials. Despite the flattened nature of the 
site, one Middle Bronze Age urn survived on the 
northern edge of the barrow, although it did not 
contain a cremation. 

In common with many other barrows, the site 
continued in use during the Late Bronze Age. The 
southern side of the ditch contained a substantial 
cremation cemetery. Forms of burial varied: some 
were in pits, with or without a stone or pottery 'lid'; 
some deposits were surrounded by stones, occa- 
sionally with additional stone 'lids'. These cremation 
deposits were placed on or dug into a layer of bone, 
pottery and industrial waste from flint and sarsen 
working which appears to have been deliberately 
deposited over a layer of established turf in the ditch. 
The more elaborate depositions occur in the south- 
western sector of the ditch, which contained substan- 
tially more sarsen, though possibly not a greater 
number of bodies than the south-eastern sector. 

There were two 'free standing' stones in the south- 
western sector, which may have acted as markers 
when the cemetery was originally established. It 
appears that the cemetery may have been under 
guardianship: one deposit consisted of a cremation in 
an urn that was set upright on the inner edge of the 
ditch and had a stone lid. Subsequent wash from the 
ditch side piled up against the urn but, like the other 
stone settings and graves, it was probably visible for a 
considerable time after its original construction. 



It is not known at what date the site was consisten- 
tly ploughed. The presence of a Roman lynchet 
running across it points to considerable agricultural 
activities in the vicinity. 

West Overton: investigation of environmental 
sequence; post-glacial, Bronze Age ?and Iron Age 
Dr John Evans of the Department of Archaeology, 
University College, Cardiff, continued investigation 
of the environmental sequence of the upper Kennet 
valley. Activity was concentrated near West Overton. 
Further test pits were dug to provide samples for soil 
and molluscan analysis of the long sequence of sedi- 
ments under the present meadow surface of the 
Kennet, which stretch back into the early post-glacial 
period. A larger cutting was made adjacent to an area 
which had in 1986 yielded Bronze Age occupation 
traces in a long sequence of valley edge sediment. 
Further artefacts and bones were recovered, though 
little structural information. A further cutting tested 
the possibility of a valley edge settlement terrace, with 
negative results; additional sediments were however 
examined, including a sarsen boundary stone similar 

to others seen in the sequence elsewhere in the valley 
in 1985-6, which date perhaps to the Iron Age. 

Winterbourne Stoke: Stonehenge Cursus recon- 
struction (SU 109429); prehistoric 
The reconstruction, by the National Trust, of part of 
the western end of the Stonehenge Cursus, levelled in 
the 1940s, was carried out under the supervision of 
Julian Richards for the Trust for Wessex Archaeology 
(Project No. 31802). The trench excavated by Patricia 
Christie in 1959 was re-excavated and the ditch 
deposits sampled for environmental data. The former 
positions of the bank and ditch were located by trial 
trenching. Bulldozed spoil overlying the silted profile 
of the ditch was removed and used to reconstruct an 
earthwork bank. 

Wroughton: Southleaze Farm (SU 123827); PMedie- 
val ?and Post-Medieval 

A survey, by the Thamesdown Archaeological Unit, 
of earthworks 200 m south of the present farm 
revealed a series of platforms and ditches, probably 
relating to a former farm complex marked on 
Andrews' and Dury's map of 1773. 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 183-1J 

Wiltshire Archaeological Register for 1986 

The Register for 1986 is arranged in chronological 
order and by parishes. In order to save space '86' does 
not precede the serially numbered entries in the text, 
but this prefix should be used to identify individual 
items in future cross references. 

The Register has again been compiled on a selective 
basis. Records of small groups of unassociated 
fiintwork and of pottery, when of uncertain date or of 
common Romano-British or medieval types, have 
been omitted as well as a number of uninformative 
stray finds. Also not included are certain groups of 
finds from sites which are due to be published in 
detail in the near future, such as Bronze Age finds 
from 1986 burials in Blackberry Lane cemetery, 
Potterne; and finds from sites which might be particu- 
larly vulnerable to the depredations of 'treasure 
hunters'. While it is no longer practical to include all 
stray finds, it is hoped that contributors will continue 
to supply full records so that future Registers may be 
compiled from as comprehensive a range of material 
as possible. 

Accessions to museums are noted by the short name 
of the museum (Devizes or Salisbury) followed by the 
accession number. For objects remaining in private 
possession, the sources of information noted are 
museum records or individual informants, not neces- 
sarily the owners. Particulars of attribution and pro- 
venance are as supplied by the museums, societies and 
individuals named. Where there is a reason to doubt 
the accuracy of the find record, this caveat is given in 
the text. 

Acknowledgements to individual donors for those 
gifts to the Society's museum at Devizes which fall 
within the chronological range of the Register (prehis- 
toric to c. AD 1500) will be found in the Curator's 
Report for 1986. 

The illustrations have kindly been provided by N. 





century as in C2, second century 


Devizes Museum Day Book 


In private possession 


Thamesdown Museums Archaeo- 

logical Records 


Wiltshire Archaeological arid Natural 

History Magazine 


Wiltshire Archaeological Register 

Aldbourne, Laines. SU 22887444. Tranchet axe, 

2 small scrapers and blade flakes. PP. DMDB 


Aldbourne, Laines. SU 22867450. Core trimming 

flake. PP. DMDB 1177. 

Avebury, West Kennet, SU 105682. Tranchet 

Axe. Devizes 1986.28.5. 

Potterne, Little Chilsbury. ST 997580. Small 

core. Devizes 1986.73. 


5 Bishops Cannings, Roughridge Hill. SU 031- 
06710. Small assemblage of struck flakes. PP. 
DMDB 1205. 

6 Bishopstone (N), Hinton Down, SU 25028034. 
Fragment of polished greenstone axehead. PP. 
DMDB 1231. 

7 Blunsdon St. Andrew, 20 yds W of OS obelisk. 
SU 136901. Leaf-shaped arrowhead. PP. TMAR. 

8 Little Bedwyn, Chisbury Manor Farm. No 
n.g.r. Polished flint axehead. PP. DMDB 1196. 

9 Tidcombe and Fosbury, Scots Poor. SU 
28595630. Small assemblage of flints. Devizes 


10 Bishops Cannings, W of lynchets. SU 047654. 
Assemblage of LBA sherds. Devizes 1986.138. 

11 Calne Without, Calstone, Spray's Farm. SU 
01656900. Miniature bronze spearhead. PP. 
DMDB 1230.6. 

12 Chilton Foliat, Chilton House. SU 31757055. 
Group of LBA sherds. PP. DMDB 1189. 

13 Chute, NE of Cross Keys. SU 296539. Small 
fragment of a bronze sword blade. Devizes 

14 Downton, Barford Park Farm. SU 188224. 
Bronze penannular bracelet with expanding ter- 
minals (Figure 1). Salisbury 7.1986. 

15 Ogbourne St. Andrew, c. SU 186720. Small 
fragment of knobbed bracelet. Devizes 1986.226. 

16 Tollard Royal, Woodley Down. ST 93971835. 
Bronze arm ring (found 1978). Salisbury 

17 Upavon, between A345 and river. SU 135546.. 
Fragment of socketed axe; fragment of knobbed 
bracelet; fragment of bronze pin with spherical 



Figure 1. No. 14. Bronze penannular bracelet with expanding terminals from Downton; actual size 


head; fragment of bronze penannular bracelet 

with expanding terminals. Devizes 1986.93 and 


Westbury, W of Birchanger Farm. ST 896520. 

Sherd of oolite gritted ware. Devizes 1986.240. 


19 Bishopstone (N), near the Ridgeway. No n.g.r. 
Bronze mount in the form of a schematised mask 
with curved 'horns' and a split flowing 'beard'. 
PP. DMDB 1182. 

20 Chute. Hoard of 55 gold Chute-type staters, (= 
Allen's British B). Probably a second part of the 
hoard found in 1927 (WAM 44, 236-9). PP. 
DMDB 1229. One coin in Salisbury. 

21 Edington. ST 924532. Dobunnic silver coin, 
type Allen E (Mack 382). Devizes 1986.41. 

22 Ogbourne St. Andrew. SU 188720. Silver coin 
of Epaticcus, type Mack 263. PP. DMDB 1181. 

23 Pewsey, Sharcott. SU 150590. Two silver staters 
of the Durotriges, type Mack 317. Devizes 


24 Aldbourne, circular enclosure El. SU 225758. 
Collection of sherds. Devizes 1986.112. 

25 Aldbourne, Ewin's Hill. SU 256739. Late C3 
antonimanus and a worn C4 coin. Devizes 

26 All Cannings, garden of 3 Chandler's Lane. SU 
070616. Sestertius of Antoninus Pius. PP. DMDB 

27 Baydon, Ermin Way. SU 272783? Bronze buckle 

with design of confronting dolphins and buckle 
plate with openwork arcading. PP.TMAR. 

28 Bishops Cannings. SU 047654. Small collection 
of Savernake ware and other sherds. Devizes 

29 Bratton, Vicarage Field. ST 91405204. Small 
collection of sherds. Devizes 1986.164. 

30 Calne Without, Calstone, Spray's Farm. SU 
017691. Group of C3 and C4 coins; collection of 
sherds. PP. DMDB 1200 and 1201. 

3 1 Chittoe . Chittoe Heath . c . ST 968668 . Collection 
of sherds. Devizes 1986.119. 

32 Clyffe Pypard. SU 08167645. Group of approx. 
40 coins, including one of Julius Caesar, mainly 
C3 and C4. PP. DMDB 1239. 

33 Codford St. Mary, Manor Farm. ST 970414. 
Group of 7 Roman coins; fibula and fibula pin. 
PP. DMDB 1202 and 1238. 

34 Collingbourne Kingston, SE of village. SU 
244553. As of uncertain emperor. PP. DMDB 

35 Devizes. St James's Church. SU 01036150. Rim 
sherd. Devizes 1986.229. 

36 Durrington, Stonehenge Road. SU 15554428. 
Sestertius of Marcus Aurelius, type RIC 1314. 
PP. Salisbury. 

37 Enford, 9 Long Street. SU 14125124. Pollis of 
Constantius II or Constans. Devizes 1986.52. 

38 Little Cheverell. ST 991542. Antonimanus of 
Postumus and two other coins; small group of 
sherds. PP. DMDB 1217. 

39 Netheravon, SE of villa. SU 147477. Fragment 
of fibula. PP. Salisbury. 



40 Ogbourne St. Andrew, near Barbury Castle. SU 
139758. Fragment of bronze buckle with horses' 
heads facing outwards, cf. S.Hawkes in Medieval 
Archaeology V, 21-34, type lb); mid C4 cente- 
monalis pierced for suspension, and other coins. 

41 Shalbourne, The Mill House. SU 316636. Sester- 
tius of Hadrian and AL 3 Constantinopolis/Wolf 
and Twins type. Devizes 1986.255. 

42 Steeple Ashton, Manor Farm. ST 896574. 5 
C3-C4 coins. PP. DMDB 1237. 

43 Steeple Langford, Hanging Langford Camp. No 
n.g.r. One-piece bow brooch; Camulodunum 
type Ilia brooch. PP. DMDB 1213. 

44 Upavon, by the A345. SU 131546. Siliqua of 
Honorius struck at Milan. Devizes 1986.185. 

45 Upavon, Upavon Hill. SU 143553. Fragment of 
bronze bracelet; fragment of fibula of 
Collingwood type Q. Devizes 1986.186. 

46 Wanborough, Lotmead Farm. SU 195853. 
Barbarous radiate; AL 3 of Constantine I; AL 3 of 
Constantine II. PP. TMAR. 

47 Wanborough, Upper Wanborough. No n.g.r. 
Bronze buckle with dolphins' heads design, (cf. 
S. Hawkes in Medieval Archaeology V, 1-70). PP. 
DMDB 1234. 

48 Westbury, Birchanger Farm. ST 896520. Denarius 
of Pompey the Great, type C4. PP. DMDB 1245. 

49 Winterslow, N of Dunstable Pond. SU 22353330. 
Decorated bronze tweezers; bronze fibula, 
Collingwood type M (Figure 2). PP. Salisbury. 

Figure 2. No. 49. Roman bronze fibula from Winterslow; 
actual size 

50 Winterslow, S of the Pheasant Inn. SU 
23203465. Fibula, Collingwood type Q. PP. Sal- 


51 Collingbourne Kingston. SE of village. SU 
24455535. Small saucer brooch. Devizes 

52 Corsham, Boyd's Farm, Gastard. ST 884677. 
Silvered or tinned bronze clasp of three conjoin- 
ing half spheres, with filigree decoration. Devizes 
1986.76. See also No. 59 below. 

53 Enford, East Chisenbury. ST 14155365. Bronze 
fragment with Ringerike style decoration. 
Devizes 1986.237. 

54 Langley Burrell Without, SW of Langley 
House. ST 926755. Animal headed bronze strap- 
end. Devizes 1986.55. 

55 Ogbourne St. Andrew. SU 187720. Animal 
headed bronze strap-end. PP. DMDB 1184. 

56 Ogbourne St. Andrew, near railway line. SU 
192722. Small saucer brooch with decoration of 
six spirals. PP. DMDB 1232. 

57 Ogbourne St. Andrew, Round Hill Down. SU 
21207572. Grass/chaff tempered sherd. PP. 
DMDB 1185. 

58 Upavon, between A345 and river. c.SU 135546. 
Animal-headed bronze strap-end. Devizes 

59 'Wiltshire', no details of findspot. Silvered or 
tinned bronze clasp of three conjoining half 
spheres with filigree decoration. Devizes 
1986.228. See above No. 52. 


60 Axford, garden of Swandown. SU 231699. 
Bronze buckle. Devizes 1986.30. 

61 Blunsdon St. Andrew, Hunts Hill, Broad Bluns- 
don. SU 149906. Lead ampulla with designs of 
obv. a crown, rev. a wheel. PP. TMAR. 

62 Calne Without, Sprays Farm, Calstone. around 
SU 01656900. Irregular copy of a penny of 
William I, type VIII (publication forthcoming); 
cut halfpenny of Henry III; Edward I penny; gilt 
bronze harness mount with fleur de lys design 
(publication forthcoming); iron keys and sherds. 
PP. DMDB 1200 and 1230. 

63 Corsham, Boyds Farm, Gastard. ST 882674. 
Annular brooch and sherds. PP. DMDB 1188. 

64 East Coulston, N of moated site. SU 943539. 
Belt fitting, spur-buckle and clasp. Devizes 

65 Edington. ST 924532. Small gilt-bronze annular 



brooch; gilt bronze hinge; bronze lid (?) and 12 

group of sherds. Devizes 1986.41. 

66 Farley, Bells Farmhouse. SU 22752925. Large 
sherd from a partially glazed aquamanile. Salis- 
bury 6.1986. 73 

67 Figheldean, Manor Farm. SU 14894720. Copper 
alloy head with two perforated lugs. (Possibly 
post medieval.) Salisbury 85.1986. 

68 Langley Burrell Without, ST 93237545. Seal 74 
matrix of the 'Commissary of the Lord Pope' (see 

above p. 159). PP. DMDB 1183. 

69 Latton, near Ermine Street. SU 09009555. Seal 
matrix with figure of archer; illegible inscription. 75 
PP. DMDB 1233. 

70 North Tidworth, North Manor Farm. c.SU 
239496. Simple bronze pendant with punched 

circle decoration. Devizes 1986.89. 76 

71 Ogbourne St. Andrew. SU 187720. Shield 
shaped heraldic pendant of copper alloy and 
enamel, with barely distinguishable design. PP. 
DMDB 1235. 

Ramsbury, Ashley Piece. SU 27957198. Shield 
shaped heraldic pendant of copper alloy and 
enamel, with two sets of arms as yet unidentified 
(Figure 3). PP. DMDB 1179. 
Upavon, SU 123545. Decorated strap end; 
Henry III long cross penny; Edward III penny of 
Calais; bronze weight for a noble. Devizes 

Wingfield, Church Farm. ST 82355690. Shield 
shaped armorial pendant with arms possibly of 
either Turville or Danvers of Dauntsey, Wil- 
tshire (Figure 4). Devizes 1986.246. 
Winterbourne Stoke, Glebe Road. SU 
07764105. Copper alloy signet ring with octa- 
gonal bezel engraved with a lombardic letter T 
under a crown. Salisbury 88.1986. 
Wootton Bassett, Woodshaw. c.SU 082824. 
Henry I type XIV penny of the Winchester mint 
(cf. Brit.Mus.Cat. 193-4). PP. DMDB 1208. 

Figure 3. No. 72. Heraldic pendant from Ramsbury; 
actual size 

Figure 4. No. 74. Armorial pendant from Wingfield; 
actual size 

Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 187-201. 


Aubrey Burl. The Stonehenge People. J.M. Dent & 

Sons Ltd., London, 1987; xiv + 249 pages; 29 plates; 
12 line illustrations; 15 tables; £16, hardback. ISBN 

Aubrey Burl's evocative title held out hopes that we 
should see Stonehenge and its surroundings giving 
substance to those prehistoric peoples who had their 
being within its sight and shadow. Sadly those hopes 
were only partially fulfilled, for his full-blooded 
presentation is neither an evaluation of the evidence, 
direct and inferential, for those people, nor popular in 
the present sense of an easy to read story. 

Poor Stonehenge, Western Europe's premier pre- 
historic monument, deserves better treatment than it 
has had in this century. Excavations have not been 
published, latter-day Druids, astro-, and other mystic 
fringe groups, claim it, while those charged with its 
protection have allowed myriads of gravel-laden 
human feet to clamber upon the stones and wreak 
their worst. Aubrey Burl succinctly depicts current 
conditions in his preface and, at every turn, reminds 
us of what lies beyond the sordid car park, tunnel, 
and tracks. There is a useful listing of Stonehenge's 
excavations and repairs, detailed questions are posed 
at the outset, and there are kind words regarding 
Lt.Col. William Hawley whose seven years of mech- 
anistic excavation stripped more than one half of the 
monument's area to the undisturbed chalk! 

The nexus of the book is its eleven colourfully 
headed, absolute-dated, chapters, adorned and inter- 
larded with copious quotations which range from 
Gerald Hawkins's celestial claims, to the incompa- 
rable Gerard Manley Hopkins. Many of the plates are 
well-known, although the writer's own photographs 
are alive and applicable. The unlisted line illustra- 
tions, which include six developmental maps, con- 
cisely convey the information that they carry, as do 
the similarly unlisted tables. These last, like the 
quotations, distract, and their contents could well 
have been placed as footnotes or appendices. 
- Any understanding of Stonehenge must be based 
upon its progressive modification and development. 
Only then can one turn to its supportive landscape 
and the implications of its many monuments. Beyond 
this point one is in the realms of interpretation and 
inference. Thus the book's able and experienced 

writer has enveloped his many valuable insights and 
observations in a web of preoccupations derived from 
his personal view regarding Stonehenge's function. 
This, introduced in the second chapter, is that it was a 
'charnel-house' (s.v. Mortuary house) towards which 
corpses were borne, invariably while the midwinter 
moon was rising. Indeed, this assertion is the unifying 
theme, and, unfortunately, much of the marshalled 
material has been suborned to its demands. 

The study of prehistory, like that of all archaeology 
and history, is motivated by assumptions which, in 
general, reflect the writer's own times. Oddly, in such 
an all-embracing, forward-looking work, many of 
these are of long standing, although they do not 
materially condition the central argument. Thus the 
inception of our Neolithic is marked by skin-boats, 
laden with seed-corn, animals and eager immigrants, 
landing upon our shores; with mixed farming and a 
few houses, all distant from Salisbury Plain; and 
Mediterranean skulls and the long barrows which, 
despite the thrust of recent evidence, are for commu- 
nal burial. Invading Beaker folk ' ... of Nordic 
stock, speaking a form of Indo-European language 
. . . ' is the preferred explanation for this episode, 
which includes a bizarre consideration of the poison- 
ous Fly Algaric toadstool, an infusion of which might 
have been dispensed in the distinctive vessels! In the 
same light, he sustains intimate earlier Bronze Age 
connections between Wessex and Brittany. These are 
but a few of the specifics that could be considered, but 
which are beyond the compass of a review. It is 
appreciated that interpretation, determined by the 
competence of the evidence, is an individual matter, 
yet, at every turn, inherent possibilities emerge as 
firm statements, from which further inferences 

A good example is the treatment of the axes, 
daggers, and other representations (pp. 205-210). 
Admittedly axe carvings are associated with barrows 
but can one confidently claim that they signified death 
and deduce therefrom a funerary axe cult ? The 
Badbury representations do resemble some Breton 
examples but, notwithstanding, why should the 
Stonehenge carvings suddenly become Breton, ' . . . 
doubtlessly executed by British artists or priests but 
inspired by traditions from Brittany'? Thereafter they 
become associated with the sun, again with death, and 



then emerge (the axes) as ' ... an abstraction for the 
guardian of the ring, a statement that she was 
present'; and, finally, the Altar Stone ' . . . may have 
been her personification'. The claims made regarding 
the U-settings of bluestones and trilithons have been 
similarly developed but the reviewer must leave their 
examination to others. 

Stonehenge has always attracted the idiosyncratic 
and in our own time the claims of the 'alternative 
archaeology' are clamorous nowhere more than in 
metrology and astronomy. Stukeley and Flinders 
Petrie considered matters of measurement but, lat- 
terly, Alexander Thom has made the running. Aubrey 
Burl's considerations of this difficult theme, particu- 
larly on pp. 90 and 125, are clear and critical and can 
be read with profit by those who seek enlightenment. 
Much of the astronomy is unexceptional, although it 
is given a prominence that its nature scarcely war- 
rants. Beyond R.L.S. Newall's fundamental observa- 
tion regarding the principal trilithon there is much 
that can only be moonshine. It has been all too 
frequently overlooked that a heavenly body observed 
in relation to a specific stone was not necessarily so 
seen in prehistory. Indeed, were the stones of 
Stonehenge no more than components of a composite 
circular building, comparable with those that we 
believe stood within Durrington Walls, the many and 
varied sight lines may not have obtained ! 

The distillation of a human narrative from the 
fragments surviving from our prehistoric past is the 
ultimate objective of archaeological endeavour. 
Inevitably anyone who in this way organises a mass of 
undigested material evokes criticism rather than 
applause. This is inevitable because there cannot be a 
complete unanimity of understanding, a process both 
intellectual and emotional, or even involving 
unawareness. Nonetheless, a writer's task is clear, the 
available evidence should be presented objectively 
and, with due regard for the competence of that 
evidence which should be evaluated dispassionately. 
Speculative considerations determined by the thrust 
of the material are frequently stimulating for they 
often enhance the awareness which allows appreci- 
ation of new situations and motivates the progress of 
research. With such considerations in mind it must be 
asked whether this book does, as the dust-jacket blurb 
proclaims, ' . . . give a coherent account of the very 
people who built and frequented one of the great 
wonders of the archaeological world' ? Undoubtedly it 
is a remarkable and unfamiliar account for its writer 
has insight, imagination and the ability to marshall his 
resources. It is sad that his ingenious 'charnel-house' 
concept, the central theme, cannot be substantiated. 

In view of this one can but turn to what John Aubrey 
said regarding Inigo Jones' book on Stonehenge, 
which appeared in 1655. 

There is a great deal of learning in it, but, having 
compared his scheme with the Monument itself, 
I found that he had not dealt fairly, but had made 
a Lesbian's rule . . . that is, he framed the 
Monument to his own Hypothesis, which is 
much differing from the thing itself . . . 


D.A. Crowley (editor). A History of Wiltshire, 
volume 13. Oxford University Press for Institute of 
Historical Research, 1987; 280pp; £60. 

This new volume of our admirable V.C.H. deals with 
the two hundreds of Chalke and Dunworth, which 
form a compact group of parishes in the far south of 
the county - compact, that is, when added together, 
for in typical Wiltshire style the hundred boundaries 
are not straightforward. Chalke had Semley parish as 
a detached outlier, while Dunworth's outlier was the 
detached manor of Easton Bassett, locally in Berwick 
St John and actually including part of that village, but 
parochially part of Donhead St Andrew until 1885. 
Chalke also includes Tollard Royal which until the 
same time was partly in Dorset. 

Dunworth hundred lies mainly in the Vale of 
Wardour, and it was probably the contrast between its 
greensand ridges and the barer chalk country of the 
Ebble valley which led to a difference which persists 
today - that Dunworth abounds in large country 
houses and parks, while Chalke has only two, 
Ashcombe and Rushmore, both in Berwick St John. 
In Dunworth we have not only Wiltshire's only 
complete medieval castle at Wardour and its 
eighteenth century successor, but the various houses 
at Fonthill, Pythouse, and several large houses in the 

The history of these houses and their surrounding 
man-made landscapes is here presented, in many 
cases for the first time, backed by a series of outstand- 
ing illustrations, showing both what has gone and 
what remains. Particularly harrowing is the aerial 
view of Fonthill House, destroyed as recently as 1972, 
though it does also emphasize its quite unmanageable 

Industry is not prominent in these parts, though 
Tisbury had a giant cloth mill for a short period, and 


quarrying of Chilmark stone was carried on over 
several centuries. The coming of the railway changed 
Tisbury's appearance markedly, making it into a 
small town which has now some thirty shops. 

But it is impossible for a reviewer to begin to 
summarize such a wealth of information, the great 
part of it revealed for the first time by intensive 
documentary research - a good deal of it, incidentally, 
in the Arundell archives made available to the editors 
by Lord Talbot of Malahide. Like all good reference 
books, the V.C.H., as well as being indispensable to 
the scholar, is perfect ground for the browser. Here 
he will find 'a motherly woman of humble 
attainments' teaching the children of Sedgehill, a 
church notorious for clandestine marriages at Ansty, 
and a pub inscribed with a political motto at Tisbury. 


D.C. Findlay. Soils in Wiltshire 2. Harpenden, 
1986; viii + 51 pages, figs., tabs., and maps. £4.50 
with separate fold-up map (ISBN 7084 0365 4); 
£3.00 without separate fold-up map (ISBN 7084 
0366 2). Limp cover. Obtainable from the Publica- 
tions Officer, Soil Survey of England and Wales, 
Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, 
Herts. AL5 2JQ. 

This survey deals with the surface soils of the country 
covered by the northern half of 1:25,000 sheet SU05 
and the southern half of sheet SU06, and forms Soil 
Survey Record No. 91 produced at Rothampsted 
Experimental Station, Harpenden, as part of the 
ongoing Soil Survey of England and Wales. 

The area embraced lies between 400ooo E to 
410ooo E and 155ooo N to 165ooo N, and thus 
stretches eastwards from the western suburbs of 
Devizes as far as Wilsford, and northwards from 
Easterton to just north of Bourton. The full width of 
the Vale of Pewsey and the headwaters of the Salis- 
bury Avon are thereby included. 

Detailed information is provided on the glauconitic 
Upper Greensand soils characteristic of Pewsey Vale 
and on those around the Avon headwaters. Admirable 
coverage of these areas is achieved in just three 
chapters and one appendix. 

The survey commences (Chapter 1) with textual 
and cartographic statements of the area's present 
topography (relief), geology (solid and drift), and 
climate, before proceeding (Chapter 2) to systematic 
consideration of the twenty-six different soil series 


identified within the area. Very sensibly, these series 
are dealt with alphabetically by series titles. Each 
series is succinctly described, provided with a brief 
profile, and assessed in relation to its relevant water 
regime and cultivation and cropping capacity. Refer- 
ences to more technical accounts published elsewhere 
appear in the text where appropriate and help make 
this section of the survey a masterpiece of concise 
accurate recording. Particularly helpful in this section 
are the descriptions of successive structural changes 
experienced by each soil series during periods of 
heavy rains or prolonged drying. 

Chapter 3 deals with the agricultural use of the 
various soils. Land use and variations in crop and 
livestock production are briefly discussed, and several 
instructive comparative water retention tables are 

The appendix is confined to selected soil profile 
descriptions. The soils selected are those of the 
Allington, Puckshipton, Stert, and Stretham series. If 
a criticism is permissible here it is that these potentially 
valuable profile descriptions have not been extended to 
cover all the soil series recorded by this survey. 

Adjuncts to the foregoing include a list of useful 
references and a good working index. The latter, very 
helpfully, highlights the names of each of the twenty- 
six different soil series in capitals throughout, thereby 
permitting almost instantaneous ease of reference. 

A separate 1:25,000 scale fold-up map (prepared in 
1985) accompanying the main text of the survey 
carefully depicts the geographical disposition of the 
innumerable soil pockets recorded, the traced limits 
of each being delineated by solid black lines overlying 
half-tone (approximately) reproduction of 1973 
Ordnance Survey base map detail. The resultant 
effect is clear and unambiguous. Letter abbreviations 
identify the soil series within each pocket, and these 
correspond exactly with those given in the larger of 
two informative tables bordering the right-hand 
margin of the map. Importantly, this table (as well as 
the map) indicates the few unsurveyed enclaves 
within the confines of the area studied. As expected, 
such enclaves underlie built-up areas, such as Devizes 
barracks, Devizes itself, or some of the larger villages, 
although in total they comprise a relatively very small 
percentage of the land area under consideration. 

The larger table also features subdivisions detailing 
topsoil texture, stoniness, and the main characteristics 
of each soil series, as well as useful data about local 
soil gradients relative to geology and landscape, and 
about soil water regimes. 

The smaller table constitutes a classification of the 
soil series recorded. 



A small scale map adjacent to the two tables just 
mentioned locates the area surveyed relative to Wil- 
tshire as a whole, and compares well with the slightly 
larger, though otherwise similar, map forming Figure 
1 in the survey text. 

All the above maps and tables form striking visual 
statements of the details embodied in the main survey 
text, but are not absolutely essential to a proper 
understanding of that text, hence the optional pack- 
ages offered by the publishers. There is no doubt in 
this reviewer's mind, however, that the advantages of 
acquiring the fold-up map with the survey text more 
than offset the price difference between the two 

Unquestionably, Soils in Wiltshire 2 should prove 
valuable in future land use development in the par- 
ishes concerned, and will, it is hoped, receive the 
acclaim (and consultation) it so obviously deserves. 


Louis Hatch. Hamptith: Memories of Hamptworth 
Before the First World War. Published by Sue 
Browne, Hamptworth, 1987; 96 pages. £2.95, paper- 
back. ISBN 9512182 4. 

A member of a farming family, Louis Hatch was born 
in the small south Wiltshire village of Hamptworth in 
1896, at a period when it was still relatively cut off 
from Downton and Salisbury. The book contains 
reminiscences of his boyhood in this rural community 
set on the northern edge of the New Forest, during 
the days before the outbreak of the First World War, 
when he, along with many of his contemporaries, left 
the area for the first time. 

Louis Hatch's family were originally farm labour- 
ers, but as a result of hard work and profits from the 
family pigs, they managed to take on a smallholding 
where they raised their family before moving on to a 
larger farm. Memories of the pig killings and skimmer 
cakes for tea recall these days. 

The author describes daily life on the farm 
throughout the seasons, work with which the children 
were obliged to assist. He describes their fun ratting 
with ferrets on Saturdays, collecting bracken, and the 
autumn nutting. Vivid pictures emerge of his father 
cutting the workers' hair with shears by candlelight, 
there being no local barber. One of the boys was 
ordered to hold the candle still so that his father 
would not make a slip in the flickering light. We learn 
of the distinctions in the various parts of the com- 
munity. His father, for example, from the outlying 

hamlet of Nomansland, joined the others in 'scuggy 
hunting' for red squirrel on Boxing Day. Louis never 
went: 'it was only for people who lived in 
Nomansland, but if it was a quiet day, you could hear 
them down here quite plainly'. 

Various village characters emerge: Mrs. Morrison 
from the big house; Mr. Stacey, the schoolmaster, 
who would sometimes send Louis round to the Post 
Office with his watch to check the time; Mr. Jay, the 
village carpenter, undertaker and chapel superin- 
tendent; Eliza Williams, who ran the local pub, and 
her son Ted, an engine driver on the thrashing 
machines going from farm to farm; and Sir George 
Thursby, the master of the buckhounds, who foll- 
owed a hunted stag for 25 miles in a baker's cart 
through the forest and out into the sea at New Milton 
after his horse had gone lame. 

These characters and more come alive in Louis 
Hatch's reminiscences. Contemporary photos of 
people and places and items of interest, such as 
receipts and the Band of Hope attendance register, 
add to this, and a couple of sketch maps help to set the 
scene. A map showing Hamptworth's position relative 
to neighbouring towns would have been helpful for 
those unacquainted with the area between Salisbury 
and Cadnam. An index, too, could have assisted 
readers searching for particular information. 

The book concludes with the author leaving school, 
on passing his labour exam at thirteen, to help his 
father on the farm; not long before the First World 
War gave Louis and his friends their first sight of the 
world beyond Salisbury. 

Sue Browne, Louis Hatch's next door neighbour, 
has carefully taken these reminiscences and worked 
them into a readable little book, which she has 
published herself. She mentions that she is currently 
collecting material for a sequel telling us of life in 
Hamptworth after Louis's return from the First 
World War. If so, I trust it will prove as interesting as 
the first volume. 


Danny Howell. Yesterday's Warminster. Barra- 
cuda, 1987; 136 pages; £12.95. ISBN 86023 282 4. 

Danny Howell was born and brought up in Warmin- 
ster and has already produced one book on the town: 
An Old Postcard Album of Warminster. By collecting 
stories and reminiscences from some of his family and 
other older inhabitants of the town, and assembling 
memorabilia such as old postcards, advertisements, 



tickets etc., he has produced his latest work, 
described as 'an album of memories and curiosities'. 
This is a picture of Warminster in the years between 
1900 and the outbreak of World War II; a time when 
the town, with a population of around 5,000, was 
largely an agricultural centre in decline, before the 
arrival of the army. 

Warminster during this time was very much a town 
where everyone knew everyone else. The author 
commences our tour by describing the business 
people and tradesmen of the town. Warminster was 
the commercial centre for quite a large area. Many 
well-known local characters appear: Frank Moody 
started off as an apprentice miller and worked his way 
up to become owner of the local bacon factory and a 
series of shops supplying foodstuffs and furniture, 
amongst other items; whilst Amy Buder was 
dressmaker to 'the nobility and elite of the neighbour- 
hood' and was known as Warminster's Grand Old 
Lady. Nor is it only the more eminent characters of 
the town who appear. Errand boys and shop assistants 
tell of their working lives. Les Whitmarsh describes 
his working days in the butcher's as a six and a half 
day week (Wednesday afternoons were free), and 
'there was no such thing as holidays'. 

After describing the hard-working life of commer- 
cial Warminster, the author turns his attention to 
Warminster at leisure. Here again, we meet many 
familiar characters. Les Whitmarsh reappears as a 
dance band leader of the twenties. (We are inclined to 
wonder when he found the time to practise.) Every- 
where, anecdotes enliven the descriptions as we read 
of fairs, music hall, the cinema, the Amateur Operatic 
Society, the Salvation Army and the story and squab- 
bles of Warminster Brass Band. We read of the 
indignation of the local vicar at the lying competition 
held at a local fair, and smile at the story of the 
football match held between pirates and policemen 
during a lengthy interval of the 'Pirates of Penzance' 
which so enthralled the players that they almost forgot 
to return to the theatre. 

Finally, the author draws our attention to Warmin- 
ster Common, at this time still largely distinct from 
the town proper. Here, in the neighbourhood of the 
workhouse there was great poverty. Roland Curtis 
describes the problems of bringing up his family of 
seventeen children on a farmworker's wages. He tells 
how poorer people would try to buy burnt loaves at 
the baker's so as to be able to make breadcrumb tea, 
much cheaper than the real thing. 

This is a very enjoyable book, with a wealth of 
photos and other illustrations bringing the characters 
to life. It possesses a useful sketch map on the 

endpapers, and an index. For those anxious to find 
out more, there is a bibliography and it is pointed out 
that the tapes upon which much of this book is based 
may be found in the town's Dewey Museum. One 
criticism that might be made is that the print of the 
text is very small and so may deter some of Warmin- 
ster's older inhabitants from reading and reminiscing 
about the early days of this century. In this book the 
author has dealt with commerce, leisure and the 
cottagers from the Common. It is to be hoped that the 
author will continue his research and bring us further 
works on yet more aspects of life in old Warminster, 
of which there must be many. 


N.D.G. James. Plain Soldiering: A History of the 
Armed Forces on Salisbury Plain. Hobnob Press, 5 
Bridge Street, Salisbury SP1 2ND, 1987; xix + 268 
pages; 48 pages of plates; £20.00. ISBN 946418 03 

This book probably breaks new ground in treating 
military activity from a 'habitat' point of view. As 
with nature conservation and archaeology it can be 
helpful to see the object of one's enquiry in a reasona- 
bly broad perspective, something notably lacking in 
the traditional 'battles, buttons and badges' school of 
military history. The work is an immensely valuable 
quarry of 'military archaeology' data. Mr James, a 
former soldier himself but for decades a land agent, 
has an intimate knowledge of the area, unrivalled 
access to a range of specialist sources and the 
knowledge and experience to interpret them. Plain 
Soldiering examines the affairs of the Army (and the 
Royal Air Force) on Salisbury Plain from the initial 
acquisition of land at the end of the last century to 
1986. It just notes the fairly recently recognised 
contribution to conservation made possible by the 
existence of a training area from which most conven- 
tional activity is excluded. 

From the passage of the Military Lands Act in 1892 
it was clear that training land was needed but the 
exact purposes for which the eastern parts of the plain 
were initially acquired from 1897 do seem to have 
been confused. The author effectively trawls the 
minutes of the rather high powered War Office 
committee involved, to illustrate the varying inten- 
tions to provide temporary training camps or per- 
manent acommodation, rifle or gunnery ranges and 
facilities predominantly for infantry, cavalry or artil- 
lery. The committee had finance, logistics and per- 



sonnel specialists but no real users' representation: an 
interesting by-product of the lack of a general staff 
only corrected by Haldane a few years later. As events 
unfolded through the massive expansions and con- 
tractions of two world wars almost all were accommo- 
dated in some fashion. There is now much permanent 
military building on the periphery of the Plain. Its 
development is well chronicled here but the author 
has also teased out much about what has left only 
recent archaeological traces. In this context the 
chapter on roads and the formerly extensive local 
railways is excellent. 

The meat of the book is in the series of chapters 
covering in detail the development, and where appro- 
priate the decline, of Tidworth, Perham Down, Lud- 
gershall, Bulford, Larkhill, Warminster, Sutton Veny 
and Codford as military centres. The approach is 
methodical and thorough. Due account is given to 
such aspects as schools, hospitals, churches, insti- 
tutes, cemeteries and even hunt accommodation. 
There are some unexpected sources; for example the 
map-based study of the early development of Bulford 
is supplemented by information from the 'Garrison 
Plumber's Work Book'. It is a pity that its wherea- 
bouts is not given. 

Indeed the whole scholarly apparatus needs to be 
regarded with caution. The transposition of footnotes 
7 and 8 to Chapter 1 is not a good start and easily 
spotted, as are such proof reading errors as the lack of 
cross referencing on page 8 (line 23) and elsewhere. 
Future researchers will need to take care. Useful 
information, about schools for instance, that might 
well become difficult to extract accurately from archi- 
ves of the future has been derived from currently 
serving local government officers. By contrast the 
hoary myth about the construction of buildings really 
intended for overseas is trotted out (on page 95) on the 
strength of information from an officer who, although 
at least mature, could at best only have heard it at 
second or third hand. A clear and succinct summary 
of the development of New Zealand Farm (page 176) 
appears to derive (note 86) only from a secondary 
source which will, from the information given, be 
difficult to trace. 

The author displays a curiously respectful air 
towards military matters. A military land agent can 
have few illusions about his tenants and one might 
have asked for a more 'warts and all' assessment. For 
a work that is presented as social history as well as 
military archaeology there is only the most bland and 
derivative comment. There is some padding; the 
battles after which the roads of Tidworth Garrison are 
named absorb seven pages, straight from Fortescue, 

of the 'didn't we do well' school of military history. 
The punctiliousness of references to titles, rank, and 
routine decorations would gladden the heart of the 
Military Secretary but is wearying to the reader; there 
is much detail of this kind that could have been with 
advantage extracted from the text and added to the 
excellent range of appendices. 

The author does permit himself some comment; for 
example that the horse used to dominate sight and 
sound in the army (page 60). He is right of course to 
some extent and many of the well chosen illustrations 
in this book support the point, but the horse was a 
very expensive piece of equipment to be husbanded 
and kept fit for war; the cavalry marched dismounted 
to church. What the pictures equally illustrate and 
many of the quotations reinforce is the marching and 
the mud or the dust. 

On a lighter note the operation of Murphy's Law 
(the plain soldier would be cruder) means that it had 
to be that part of the otherwise excellent index dealing 
with this reviewer's particular bit of the army that has 
gone wrong; generally the unacknowledged indexer 
has coped unusually well with the changes over time 
of the military tribal structure. And can Plates 29 and 
30 really both be of the same Review at Perham Down 
on 22nd May 1913? If they are it looks as if both 
entourage and spectators had changed between the 
appearance of the infantry and the Royal Flying 
Corps. Page numbers at the head of each chapter's 
notes would be helpful but, this cavil apart, the book 
is produced to the usual high standards of Hobnob 
Press and is greatly enhanced by the specially drawn 
maps, in Alison Borthwick's clear and distinctive 


Malcolm Jones and Patrick Dillon. Dialect in Wilt- 
shire and its historical, topographical and natural 
science contexts. Wiltshire County Council, Library 
& Museum Service, 1987; xxv + 206 pages. £7.95, 
paperback. ISBN 86080 150 0. 

The publication of a serious book on dialect in 
Wiltshire must be welcomed. Public interest in dialect 
has always been stronger in the North. The ad-hoc 
committees set up to supply Joseph Wright with 
material for the English Dialect Dictionary were 
transformed into the Yorkshire Dialect Society as 
early as 1897. This was followed by the Scottish 
Dialect Committee (1907), the Lakeland Dialect 
Society (1939) and the Lancashire Dialect Society 



(1951). In Wiltshire, no similar body exists, but the 
Wiltshire Archaeological Society has, from its very 
inception, shown a commendable interest in dialect. 
In the 1890s two Wiltshiremen, G. Dartnell and the 
Revd. E.H. Goddard, contributed largely to the 
activity that culminated in the publication of the 
English Dialect Dictionary by Joseph Wright. Lately 
the Wiltshire Folklife Society has initiated a scheme 
for collecting tapes of dialect speakers, and of investi- 
gation of local speech by means of a questionnaire and 
a word list. A final note of satisfaction for Wil- 
tshiremen is that the book was published, photoset 
and printed in Trowbridge. 

Languages (including dialects) are complex affairs. 
They are the result of countless millions of utterances 
by countless millions of individuals and those results 
are pretty random. I am not saying that languages are 
inefficient or useless, but the way they go about their 
job is a glorious muddle. To make the past tense, 
some English verbs change the vowel sound, (sing/ 
sang); some add the ending -ed (which corresponds to 
three pronunciations, -d, -t, id); some do both (creep/ 
crept) and some make no change at all, (shut/shut). 
The unfortunate learner has to memorise which is 
which. We impose such order as we can in the form of 
rules for teaching and analysis, but there are always 

Languages, too, are vast conventions. Somehow, in 
a society, a collective decision has been arrived at 
whereby a sequence of sounds shall represent some 
aspect of the outside world. The number of 
'motivated' words, those with a closer connection 
with what they mean, usually onomatopoeic like 
'ding-dong', is tiny. However, these conventions can 
be traced back into the past to show how ideas of 
meaning and the form of the words themselves 
change. This was for me the most interesting part of 
the book, the chapters in which the authors gave us 
the root forms of our dialect words. 

Another idea which the layman often finds difficult 
is the relationship between the spoken and the written 
forms of a language. English spelling is a poor and 
haphazard attempt to indicate the pronunciation of a 
word. Even in languages where the 'fit' is better, like 
German, there are real deficiencies. Few languages 
distinguish between stressed and unstressed vowels 
such as the -age in the English word 'age' and in the 
unstressed syllable in 'courage', to take but one 
example. Linguists usually base their work on the 
spoken language although, in the case of major lan- 
guages, the spelling conventions are so well known 
that they can present their findings with examples in 
ordinary print. Now we must look upon dialect as a 

purely spoken language for which no accepted written 
form exists. I therefore think the authors made a 
serious mistake in choosing not to use the Interna- 
tional Phonetic Alphabet (IP A). This book does not 
talk down to the reader and, in this age of symbolism 
and pictorial representation, I am sure that the 
average reader could have coped with a 'broad' (i.e. 
simple) form of IPA, if a reference chart had been 
given. Many a best selling book on language has used 
it, for example Simeon Potter's Our Language (Peli- 
can). We then could have been told the exact pronun- 
ciation represented by 'larmp' which in spite of a note 
that it shows 'r-colouring', remains a complete puzzle 
to me. More seriously, we are told that one pronun- 
ciation of the word 'wash' is 'wish', where the symbol 
I is the sound of the personal pronoun, I, in received 
pronunciation. This is just not so as that sound is not 
used in Wiltshire dialect. To get the correct Wiltshire 
vowel sound, we must take the sound of the -a in 
'comma' and follow it by a y sound; if we use IPA we 
can write [aj]. 

The problem with dialect studies has always been 
that usually those that have the knowledge to write 
the books are not dialect speakers. The gap is often 
closed by employing a dialect-speaking 'informant'. 
Kjederqvist, in his Dialect ofPewsey relied on Jospeh 
Cripps, and Dartnell and Goddard, in the preface to 
their Wiltshire Glossary thank 'Mr. W. Gale, Gardener 
at Clyffe-Pypard Vicarage'. Since the 1960s writers 
have been able to draw on the corpus of information 
published following the Survey of English Dialects 
carried out by Leeds University (SED). Dialect in 
Wiltshire is based 'for the most part' on this work. It 
was a nation-wide survey and nine locations were 
investigated in Wiltshire. At each, informants were 
chosen and completed orally a questionnaire of 1300 
questions. If there was more than one informant each 
answered only a part of the questionnaire. There are 
tape-recordings of free conversation, but these have 
not so far been published. 

The use of SED material lends an air of respecta- 
bility and of scientific objectivity to dialect studies 
based on it. The information seems to me to be 
accurate, but incomplete. One reason for this is the 
method of gathering information using a ques- 
tionnaire. The only points elicited are those foreseen 
by the compilers. They may use previous studies or 
concentrate on those areas of life in which they think 
dialect words are most frequent. SED is mainly based 
on topics relevant to agriculture and rural life. Some 
questions stray very close to technical farming matters 
and informants were sometimes puzzled. Now dia- 
lect, like language, is a haphazard affair, and there is 



no reason why local words should be found in one area 
of life rather than another. 'Bide' (to stay), 'dap' (to 
bounce a ball) and 'sloom' (to dawdle), all common 
words in my youth, are all missing from SED, as are 
many others. The words relating to the cloth industry 
are totally neglected, though this might be seen as 
basic an industry as farming. Dialect seems to be the 
realm of the ageing farm-labourer (the average age of 
the Wiltshire informants was, in 1957, over 69) sitting 
in his parlour, far removed from the lively dialect- 
speaking community I knew, with its subtle hier- 
archies of respectability and affluence. 

The gaps in SED are reflected in the phonology 
section of Dialect in Wiltshire, which is decidedly 
sketchy. There is not enough information to build up 
a picture of the vowel changes which give such 
characteristic pronunciations as 'vit' (feet), 'wik' 
(week), 'bif (beef) or 'lik' (leek), or the other group 
where, in spite of the maintenance of r in most 
positions in dialect, the r is, as it were, left out: 
'pason' (parson), 'nuss' (nurse), 'puss' (purse), 'wuss' 
(worse), 'cuss' (curse) or 'mossel' (morsel). These are 
but two examples. (How I wish the authors had used 
IPA, then I could have used it, instead of these 
strange and vague spellings!) The Grammar section is 
much fuller, although, like SED, short on tenses. The 
authors mention the use of 'do' to make the present 
tense, ('burglars do steal' pronounced d, not doo), but 
do not indicate that this is a frequentative tense, i.e. 
'usually', 'every day', 'not on a particular occasion', 
and the past form is not mentioned ('I did go'). We 
hear about the past participle with a-, but not how it is 
used, i.e. 'I bin a-bought a jacket'. 

The weaknesses of Dialect in Wiltshire are those of 
SED. The strengths he in quite another direction. 
Malcolm Jones is described as a lexicographer and the 
background of both authors is more in the fields of 
folklore, the landscape and natural history than in 
descriptive linguistics. It is in the chapters on the 
lexicon (vocabulary) that the authors come into their 
own. Readers who share their interests and, indeed, 
the general reader will find much that is fascinating. 
They will learn, for instance, why a Wiltshireman 
says 'want' for mole, (retention of an older word in 
dialect); why the dialect word 'evet' and the standard 
word 'newt' are really the same word: (false division; 
an evet became a newt, the n of an being transferred); 
what French words there are in dialect (to pick a 
chicken for to pluck), or Welsh words ('tallet', a 
hay-loft), or even Old Norse ('grain', the prong of a 
fork, 'prong' usually meaning the fork itself in Wilt- 
shire). Animal names have a considerable section, 
ranging from the various words for the smallest pig in 

the litter (including 'rinnick', 'dilling' and 'nestle - 
tripe'), to 'Reynolds', a fox, obviously a variant of the 
name of the fox in the mediaeval tale of Reynard, or to 
parts of a butchered animal such as 'flick' (I knew it as 
'fleck'), the fat from around the kidneys of a pig, or 
'henge', the lungs, liver and heart of a slaughtered 
pig. I remember often having to wait at the local 
butcher's until a henge was available and it was 
eventually brought in still warm, from the slaughter- 
house. More general words include the widespread 
'shrammed' (very cold) from Old English 'scrimman' 
(to shrivel) and the very local usage of 'Marlborough- 
handed' (left-handed). This traditional unhandiness 
of the good people of Marlborough can be traced to 
the twelfth century when Walter Map spoke of bad 
French as 'the French of Marlborough'. But citizens 
of that town will be sorry to hear that this is not the 
end of their infamy. In 1763, the first birthday of 
George, Lord Bruce's heir, was to be celebrated at 
Easton, near Pewsey. A pipe (two Hogsheads) of 
strong beer was to be provided, amounting to a quart 
apiece for 480 people. Lord Bruce's agent however 
recommended that 'the Pipe may be surrounded with 
a chevaux-de-frise & well-guarded to prevent it from 
being Marlborough'd'. 

For their chapters on the specialised lexicon, 
indeed for the lexicon in general, the authors have 
drawn upon other sources than SED, including 
Dartnell and Goddard's Wiltshire Glossary and the 
Place-Names of Wiltshire published by the English 
Place Name Society. The chapter on place names 
gives a much more detailed account of the dialect 
elements in such names than the EPNS book. The 
section called a 'Case Study on Onomastics' (study of 
place names in detail over a small area) is especially 
interesting. The book then moves more and more into 
the realms of natural history and folklore. Plant 
names and bird names seem to me to be ephemeral 
and also rather vague. 'Withwine', with all its variant 
forms, is applied to both bindweed and Old Man's 
Beard, both climbing plants. We used to call clover 
'honeysuckle' because of the slight taste of nectar you 
can get by sucking the bottom of one of the florets. 
Whether the countryman is as good a naturalist as he is 
reputed to be I take leave to doubt, so I found the story 
of the 'sea woodcock' very amusing. A little grebe 
appeared at Aldbourne and as no-one recognised the 
bird, 'a bedridden old man who was supposed to be 
possessed of a good deal of ornithological knowledge, 
was accordingly wheeled out in his arm chair to give his 
opinion. A good deal of hesitation ensued and the "man 
of science" at last pronounced it a "sea woodcock" and 
by this name it has since been known'. 



We are firmly back in the realm of linguistics in 
Appendix 3, the passages in dialect. It is always a 
temptation to include such passages in books on 
dialect, but the difficulties are formidable. As I 
pointed out earlier, there is no standard, readily 
acceptable system of spelling for dialect and even the 
native speaker is sometimes at a loss to know exactly 
what pronunciation is meant. It is quite impossible to 
represent many of our dialect sounds using the ordi- 
nary alphabet. The authors recognise these difficulties 
and, on the whole, I think that the inclusion of these 
passages is justified. My main criticism is that in the 
modern passages, they have followed the nineteenth 
century tradition of the 'clownish' anecodote, in 
which the dialect speaker appears as simple but 
cunning or rather foolish. The Wiltshire Folklife 
Society has in its possession some excellent tapes of all 
grades of dialect speaker, including some very broad, 
conveying serious information about the past or the 
various careers the speakers had and I think that this 
kind of subject matter should figure more largely. The 
authors are at pains to point out that dialect is not a 
'sub-standard' form of English but such anecdotes do 
not do justice to the native speaker. 

The tenor of this book is summed up in its title: 
dialect 'and its historical, topographical and natural 
contexts'. There are many aspects of local speech 
which are absent or only touched on, such as the 
sociology of dialect, the reputation it has among 
dialect speakers or the general public at large or the 
descriptive element, giving a full account of pronun- 
ciation, grammar and vocabulary. But the book has 
much to interest the reader in its chosen fields and has 
drawn together information from a number of dispa- 
rate is well presented and I hope it will be 
widely read and stimulate a real interest for dialect 


John Le Neve. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541— 
1857, vol.6 (Salisbury Diocese), edited by Joyce M. 
Horn, University of London Institute of Historical 
Research, London, 1986; xiv + 113 pages, £14.00. 
ISBN 901179 91 4. Obtainable from University of 
London Institute of Historical Research, Senate 
House, London WC1E 7HU. 

Le Neve's Fasti need no introduction. Since its 
publication in 1716 the work has remained a standard 
source for matters concerning ecclesiastical chrono- 

logy. Despite its errors, a number of which were 
perpetuated by T.D. Hardy in his revised edition of 
1854, the lists of bishops, archdeacons and dignitaries 
provided by this ambitious and pioneering scho- 
larship have proved indispensable to generations of 
ecclesiastical historians. This volume, covering the 
post-Reformation diocese of Salisbury, extends the 
scope of the original to 1857, thus taking it well past 
the Cathedrals Act of 1840 which transferred control 
of the prebendal estates to the recently formed 
Ecclesiastical Commission. By this time the archdea- 
conry of Dorset, which by a clumsy arrangement 
became part of the newly established diocese of 
Bristol in 1542, had been restored to Salisbury where 
since 1836 it has remained. In the same year the 
archdeaconry of Berkshire, by way of reducing an 
otherwise vastly extended jurisdiction, was annexed 
to the diocese of Oxford. Among other changes the 
Reformation witnessed the suppression of three pre- 
bends, two of which were the Dorset estates of Loders 
and Sherborne (held respectively by the abbess of 
Sion and the abbot of Sherborne), and the creation of 
five new ones arising from alienations or exchanges 
demanded by the Crown. As a result the fifty-two 
ancient prebends of Salisbury were now reduced to 
forty-six. Of these forty continued in the gift of the 
bishop, who maintained his right of collation. During 
the episcopate of John Capon (1539-57) this right was 
not infrequently granted away, perhaps reflecting the 
fluidity of a situation occasioned by the Reformation. 
The value of the prebends themselves varied con- 
siderably during the period covered by this volume, 
and the wealthier estates were more often than not 
bones of contention among those with designs on 
them. A notorious instance was the bitter and protrac- 
ted dispute between Bishop Seth Ward (1667-89) and 
Dean Thomas Pierce (1675-91) over the rich prebend 
of Teinton Regis in Dorset, which was enjoyed by the 
former's nephew Thomas from 1628 to 1696. 

In his revision of the Fasti Hardy supplemented the 
original lists to include the first half of the nineteenth 
century. With few prebendaries named from the 
sixteenth century, his work is at its fullest from the 
Restoration onwards, though its quality is impared by 
the scantiness and inadequacy of its references. In 
adopting as his principal source the bishop's certi- 
ficates in the Public Record Office, Hardy curiously 
disregarded the capitular and episcopal archives. The 
mediocrity of his work contrasts with the valuable 
Fasti Ecclesiae Sarisberiensis of W-H. Rich Jones, 
which was published between 1879 and 1883, and 
which (so far as they go up to the Civil War) takes 
account of the sources ignored by Hardy. 



This edition supplements Jones and Hardy with a 
wealth of additional material, including a variety of 
printed sources not available to the Victorian editors, 
and enables hitherto bare outlines to be filled in with 
more precise dates of death, particulars of academic 
degrees, and reasons for resignation. Prebendaries are 
given alphabetically (a far more satisfactory arrange- 
ment than the awkward chronological scheme 
adopted by Hardy), and there is a list of canons 
residentiary together with a general index of names. 
Following the short but adequate introduction are 
tables of references to manuscript and printed sources 
cited throughout the volume. The book itself is of a 
handy format, easy to use, and nicely executed, the 
sort of creditable opusculum that one has come to 
expect from an editor who has served us well with 
other titles in the same series in addition to her 
recently published register of Bishop Hallum. 


Michael Marshman. The Wiltshire Village Book. 

Countryside Books, 1987; 192 pages. £5.95, paper- 
back. ISBN 905392 89 2. 

This is an excellent guide to most of the villages in the 
county. Mr Marshman does not concentrate on 
churches, as the otherwise beautifully produced 
Highways and Byways series did, but introduces racy 
snippets from John Aubrey and good anecdotes of his 
own collecting, though alas, he does intrude himself a 
little too much and is too free with facetious asides 
(always emphasised with an exclamation mark). 

He is quite right in thinking that we do not only 
want to know about the distant past, and in many 
cases brings the story up-to-date with a village's 
experiences in each of the two world wars, and tells us 
for instance where the present chairman of the County 
Council farms. 

He shakes my confidence a little by missing out 
things in villages known to me that are an absolute 
'must' for the intelligent traveller. We are told: 'If you 
are travelling by car and you blink, you may miss Hill 
Deverill altogether!' But Mr Marshman seems to have 
blinked at least twice, for he has quite missed the 
superb Ludlow Manor house and its huge tiled 
mediaeval barn. Similarly, in Stockton there is no 
mention of the very interesting Tudor house and 
collection of mediaeval barns at Manor Farm. At 
West Dean we are told that a part of the old church 
has been restored as a mortuary chapel, but not 

encouraged to enter it to see the wonderful Evelyn 

There are 'misses' in villages with which I happen 
to be familiar, and I just hope that Mr Marshman's 
survey was not so hurried that there are other impor- 
tant omissions from villages that I do not know well. 
For instance, at Great Chalfield he describes the 
fresco of Thomas Tropenell. He does not say that he 
is painted with an extra finger to each hand which 
lends weight to the supposition that he was a 'perilous 
covetous man'. 

Mr Marshman is wise in his observations on the 
evolution of the village from being a working com- 
munity to largely one of retired people, commuters 
and weekenders. He traces how the villages have 
gained physically from the old cottages being expen- 
sively and lovingly restored to a condition which was 
formerly just not economically possible. It is tragic 
that modern architects have lost their way and that 
their additions to the villages are not happy ones. 

Sadly it must be said that relative poverty was the 
mortar that held the old village together; the virtue of 
the village was its air of harmony, of being fitted to 
itself. The modern architect lacks the humility to 
understand this; he is creating quite another sort of 
village, born of arrogance and affluence. 

Socially, too, the villages have changed dramati- 
cally. In the old village there was a direct connection 
between production and consumption, between the 
life of the people and the materials and tools with 
which they made that life work. The physical shape of 
the village reflected that synthesis. 

The breakdown of the old village community is 
both a release and a deprivation. The bonds of small 
rural societies both constrain and support, both 
enable and disable, and their ending is both good and 

Such are the reflections that come from reading Mr 
Marshman's descriptions of Wiltshire's villages. 


The Edington Cartulary, edited by Janet H. Steven- 
son, for the Wiltshire Record Society, Volume 42 for 
the year 1986, 1987, xxxiv + 233 pages. Obtainable 
from the Hon. Treasurer, Mr M.J. Lansdown, 53 
Clarendon Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Price to 
members £12.00 and to non-members, £15.00, pos- 
tage extra. 

The monastery at Edington was founded by William 
of Edington, who was probably a younger son of the 



leading family of the village. His career was distin- 
guished and his promotion to high office rapid, 
culminating in 1346 with his appointment as Bishop 
of Winchester and in 1356 as Edward Ill's Chan- 

By 1351 when his position was secure and his 
wealth assured he started to buy small parcels of land 
at Edington with which to found a chantry in his 
native place so that prayers could be said for himself, 
his family and selected others. 

The Edington Cartulary, in the hands of the British 
Museum since 1807, brings together in one volume 
copies of these transactions and many earlier and later 
ones from the establishment of the chantry in 1361 till 
1466, by which time estates and rights of patronage to 
churches in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire 
and Hampshire had been obtained, although the bulk 
of the house's property lay in Wiltshire. The fron- 
tispiece of this edition shows a delightful pen and ink 
drawing from the original charter, also in the British 
Library, which retains the five seals of the signatories, 
and depicts the Bishop of Salisbury handing the 
church of Coleshill, Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire) to 
the warden of Edington, Walter of Sevenhampton, 
and two of his chaplains, who are shown kneeling to 
receive the gift. 

The editor has followed in exemplary fashion the 
standard conventions for the presentation of cartu- 
laries by record societies, each deed or entry being 
translated into English as a full calendar, where 
common form, but nothing of importance is omitted. 
This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that docu- 
ments 173, 334 and 383 are to all intents and pur- 
poses identical, yet all three appear in full. The 
introduction, which most helpfully describes the 
foundation of the house and the acquisition of its 
estates, contains a very informative description of 
how a cartulary was made, from the soaking of the 
skins in a solution of lime and water, the preparation 
of ink from the ingredients of gall, green copperas 
or green vitriol and gum arabic, to the signatures on 
the folios made by the scribe to help him keep to the 
correct order. The fate of the cartulary itself (after 
the monastery was dissolved) is here described, and 
its perambulations from one antiquarian's library to 

In 1400 when the Bishop of Salisbury carried out a 
visitation of the convent, he enjoined the brethren to 
take better care of their archives. One imagines that 
the original deeds from which the scribe had copied 
all the entries in the late fourteenth century onto the 
quires which later formed the cartulary were being 
neglected. Certainly few original deeds survive. The 

register remained unbound, as was the usual practice 
in the middle ages, until 1897. 

There is little to comment upon with regard to the 
great majority of deeds and entries. The letters patent 
of Robert Bishop of Salisbury in 1358 list the rules 
and describe the government of the monastery in 
great detail; they convey a very clear impression of the 
brethren's daily duties. The edition is completed by 
one index of persons and places and another of 
subjects, providing the user with all that could be 
expected from a series of dry legal documents that for 
the most part consist of names of people and places. 

It is interesting to reflect on the fact that in 1539 
when the richer monasteries which included Edington 
were being dissolved, there were only eleven brethren 
of the house, who were supported by a very substan- 
tial annual income of over £500, an immense sum by 
the standards of the day, from lands whose acquisition 
is so clearly and fully recorded and edited in this 


Robin Tanner. Double Harness, an Autobiography. 

(With illustrations by the author.) Impact Books, 
1987; vi + 215 pages. £14.95. ISBN 245 54526 3. 

The Minister for Education would not approve of 
Robin Tanner. Dedicated teacher and HMI he 
undoubtedly was, but with an independence of mind 
and action that would not accord with current opinion 
in the Department of Education and Science. Never- 
theless, Double Harness should be required reading for 
all aspiring Ministers of Education. 

The title-page of Double Harness proclaims that it is 
the autobiography of Robin Tanner, but it is much 
more than that. It is about the adventure of teaching 
painting and crafts to the children of North Wiltshire 
before the war; it is about socialism, the domestic 
variety as practised by William Morris, not the rau- 
cous political kind as currently pursued; and it is 
about primary education in England immediately 
after the War, especially in Gloucestershire and 
Oxfordshire where Robin Tanner served as an HMI. 
It is also about the lost innocence of England, but not 
that of the author who has steadfastly kept alive his 
dedication to his ideals all his life, aided and abetted 
to no small degree by his wife Heather and their 
adopted son Dietrich. It is about the lost silence of the 
North Wiltshire countryside, which 'was of a quality 
that has now gone from the world'; and perhaps above 
all it is about the lost craftsmen whose work Robin 



Flowers of May: etching by Robin Tanner, reproduced by kind permission of the artist 



Tanner has done so much to record, and where 
possible to preserve. It is also about flowers, trees, 
and other plants, many of them reproduced in Robin 
Tanner's etchings, a complete set of which he has 
generously given to the Society's library. 

Robin Tanner started his career as a teacher in 
Chippenham, and the chapter in which he describes 
his experiences there, and his delight in the response 
of the children under his charge, make it the most 
memorable in the book and one to be read several 
times. Robin Tanner was an inspired and inspiring 
teacher who liberated his pupils' imaginations in a 
way that must have been quite new in Wiltshire, and 
perhaps elsewhere as well. Later, as an HMI, one of a 
dedicated band of men and women, frequently gifted 
and sympathetic, to whom education in England owes 
so much, Robin Tanner went his way, not just 
inspecting but advising and helping wherever he 
went. A visit by him to a school must have been 
awaited with great pleasure by staff and pupils alike. 

Throughout his life, Robin Tanner has turned to 
his etching whenever possible, just as he returned to 
his beloved Wiltshire whenever that was possible. As 
a student he taught at a school in Deptford to which 
he would return, after a week-end spent in Wiltshire, 
laden with nuts and berries, feathers and wild flowers. 
After one such week-end, one of his small pupils 
asked him 'Is God up in Wiltshire?' He surely must 
have seemed to be then, and for many of us he still is. 

In this machine age, the book itself is a splendid 
tribute to Robin Tanner's struggle to preserve 
craftsmanship. It is a pleasure to handle, with its solid 
board covers and stout stitching, uncramped text and 
well produced illustrations. 


Robin Tanner died on 19 May 1988. 

Rodney M. Thomson. William of Malmesbury. The 

Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1987; x + 227 pages with 
photographs. £25. ISBN 85115 451 4. 

In view of his acknowledged place as the greatest 
medieval English historian after Bede, comparatively 
little has been written about William of Malmesbury. 
This is undoubtedly due to the fact that his writings, 
both the historical works for which he is best known 
and the variety of other literature he produced, are 
extensive and complex, making considerable demands 
upon anyone bold enough to attempt their appraisal. 

Until now there has been no full study devoted to 
William comparable with the work of Richard Vaug- 
han on the later and, so far at least as he rates as a 
historian, less important figure of Matthew Paris. 
This volume represents a serious attempt to make 
good this deficiency by discussing its subject not only 
as a historian (although its achievement in this respect 
is less than adequate) but also as a classicist, hagiogra- 
pher, biblical commentator, scribe, bibliographer, 
and editor of texts. 

William of Malmesbury was without doubt one of 
the most learned men of his century and perhaps the 
best read. His erudition surpassed even that of his 
younger contemporary John of Salisbury with whom 
he is often compared. Yet while this comparison 
might seem appropriate, Mr Thomson reminds us of 
the distinction between the 'monastic autodidact', 
living near the close of the golden age of Benedictine 
scholarship, and the 'scholastically trained curialis', 
the busy ecclesiastic and man of affairs. This contrast 
between monk and churchman is further reflected in 
their respective appreciations of antiquity. William's 
exemplar was the Venerable Bede (vir maxime doctus et 
minime superbus), whose detached and assiduous devo- 
tion to sacred scholarship he so admired. With his 
career to pursue John of Salisbury played Martha to 
the Benedictine Mary. Imbued with Senecan and 
Ciceronian precepts, he sought in his life and writings 
to impart a sense of moral responsibility and gravitas 
to worldly rulers, particularly those of his own 

In his appraisal of William's achievement Mr 
Thomson begins appropriately by examining the 
religious and cultural milieu of Anglo-Norman mon- 
asticism. Like other southern English monasteries of 
this period Malmesbury was heir to the great Anglo- 
Saxon intellectual tradition that developed during the 
reign of Alfred and the reforms of the late tenth 
century. The Conquest provided a cultural impetus to 
Malmesbury where centuries earlier a tradition of 
Latin and vernacular scholarship had been initiated 
by St Aldhelm. The library augmented by the third 
Norman abbot of Malmesbury, Godfrey of Jumieges 
(P1090-1105), was widely used by William and laid 
the basis of his extensive learning. Yet it is evident 
from the scope of his omnivorous reading that Wil- 
liam was familiar with libraries beyond the confines 
of his own monastery. In his third chapter Mr 
Thomson examines the various works known to Wil- 
liam, basing his investigation on Professor Laistner's 
study of the books read by Bede. William was deeply 
versed in theology, which included biblical studies, 
classical and late antique literature, law, history, and 



belles lettres. He displayed a notable, though pace Mr 
Thomson perhaps not surprising, interest in Carol- 
ingian and Early English theological writings. He 
knew Alcuin's commentary on Ecclesiastes and the 
letters, many of which are quoted in the Gesta regum 
and the Gesta pontificum. Of liberal taste, the Latin 
classics comprised his 'most remarkable and char- 
acteristic area of reading'. There is a marked pre- 
dilection for Vergil and Cicero, and it is supposed that 
William knew 'at least nineteen, and perhaps as many 
as twenty-eight' works of the latter. In keeping with 
his age William had little Greek, his limited famili- 
arity with the literature, which included the Timaeus, 
being gained through Latin translations. The most 
notable late antique writer read by him was Aulus 
Gellius, extracts from whose Noctes Atticae are 
included in the Polyhistor. A critical analysis of the 
florilegium used by William is given by Mr Thomson 
in his tenth and final chapter, which is supplemented 
by an appendix listing significant Gellius variations 
from two Bodleian manuscripts, the Polyhistor, and 
John of Salisbury. 

Two important chapters are devoted by Mr Thom- 
son to the Malmesbury scriptorium and the earliest 
known books from the abbey library. There is a 
discussion of William's scribal and editorial skills in 
the light of surviving manuscripts. Eighteen plate 
photographs of rather poor quality depicting a variety 
of hands, including the 'formal' and 'informal' scripts 
characteristic of William, support that view that 
'William himself was the best of the Malmesbury 
scribes of his time, in terms of the scholarly purpose 
for which his books were designed'. The abbey 
library, which was already ancient by William's time, 
contained a number of rare and precious early works, 
including the famous Cambridge Prudentius (sup- 
posed to have been the source of the mansoul allego- 
ries on the great south porch of the abbey), which 
dates from c.1000. The survival of scarce patristica, 
late antique secular works, and early copies of English 
and Carolingian writings is undoubtedly due to 'the 
early origins of the house, the learning of Aldhelm 
and William, and probably Malmesbury's relative 
provinciality after the early twelfth century'. No less 
correct is the assertion that 'had we more evidence, we 
would probably find the Malmesbury library to have 
been most like those at Durham and Glastonbury, 
comparable ancient centres'. 

While acknowledging the significance of Mr Thom- 
son's contribution in a number of hitherto neglected 
areas, his study concerns William of Malmesbury 
primarily as a' scholar, scribe, and man of letters 
rather than as a historian. To be fair this is a weakness 

that Mr Thomson himself recognizes in his preface, 
but a work of this nature, the very title of which leads 
one to expect comprehensiveness, should have 
attempted a fuller and more critical appraisal of this 
aspect of its subject. Among other things, there needs 
to be a proper evaluation of the strengths and weak- 
nesses of the Anglo-Saxon and Norman historical 
traditions that were formative influences on William. 
It is, after all, no accident that his two principal works 
are styled Gesta in imitation of the Norman tradition 
of courtly historiography imbibed from William of 
Jumieges and William of Poitiers. Other criticisms of 
the book concern its quality and price. Printed on 
cheap paper (my own copy is already turning brown at 
the edges of the pages) and shoddily bound, the 
mark-up is far too high for a collection of papers, most 
of which in substance have been published separately 
before. Nevertheless, it is as such a collection that the 
book is valuable, having as it does the merit of 
accessibility, albeit at an inflated price. 


Frank West. St Michael's Aldbourne: The Story of 
a Wiltshire Downland Village Church. Aldbourne 
Parochial Church Council, 1987; 87 pages. £5. ISBN 
9512390 7. 

This beautifully produced book has been published 
by the Church Council of Aldbourne in aid of the 
Church Restoration Fund. The design and illustra- 
tions are excellent, and the colour photographs of the 
church are outstandingly good. It is unfortunate that 
the illustrations have no captions, but most are self 
explanatory. The text is well written and gives a clear, 
brief account of the development of the church, its 
architecture, furnishings and decoration, set against 
the background of national changes in church history 
and religious life over the centuries. In a short book of 
only eighty-seven pages there is perhaps rather too 
much emphasis on national background, and more 
might have been said about Aldbourne itself, and 
particularly about the ecclesiastical history of the 
parish. The acount also stops abruptly with the 
church's restoration in 1867. 

There is no lack of documentary evidence for the 
parish, and as recently as 1983 the Victoria History of 
Wiltshire, volume 12, listed the major primary sour- 
ces. More could have been said about the patrons, for 
during the Middle Ages the advowson was a posses- 
sion of the nuns of the wealthy abbey at Amesbury; 
after the Dissolution it passed to the Dean and 



Chapter of Winchester, and it would have been 
interesting to know what influence they had in the 
parish. Did they, for example, contribute to the 
highly-expensive restoration in 1867, and if not, who 
else apart from the vicar did pay for it? More detail 
could have been provided from the seventeenth and 
eighteenth century glebe terriers, and from the 
churchwardens' presentments and accounts. Do the 
latter reveal who purchased and maintained the two 
fire-engines which remain such a memorable feature 
of the church? Why did they have two, and how did 
they survive the Victorian restoration? 

But such matters would no doubt have unduly 
increased the length of the text, and would have gone 
beyond its immediate purpose; moreover some of 
these matters were dealt with in the late Ida Candy's 
book The Heart of a Village published in 1975. We are 
given a good account and explanation of the complex 
architectural development of the church during the 
Middle Ages, and of the various alterations and 
rebuildings which are reflected in its varied architec- 

ture, and we can only be amazed at the energy and 
enthusiasm with which successive generations of 
medieval Aldbourne parishioners raised so much 
money to enlarge and beautify their church on such a 
grand scale, and to erect a fine western tower. The 
fine series of memorials and tombs in the church is 
also well described and excellently illustrated, as are 
the upheavals of the Reformation period, the mani- 
fold changes in religious ideas and parish life during 
the seventeenth century, and the somnolent Anglican 
church life of the eighteenth century. Above all, we 
are left in no doubt of the central position of the 
parish church as the focus of religious, social, chari- 
table and educational life in Aldbourne over the 
course of the centuries. This book represents a 
commendable community effort on behalf of an 
excellent cause, and it is greatly to be hoped that with 
its attractive lay-out and clearly-written text it will sell 
well and make a useful profit to maintain this splendid 
and interesting parish church. 


Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, vol. 82 (1988), pp. 202-205. 


Christopher Evelyn Blunt, OBE, FBA, who died on 
20 November 1987 at his home at Ramsbury, was the 
leading figure in English numismatics and an 
authority on Anglo-Saxon coins. 

Born on 16 July 1904, he was educated at Marlbo- 
rough College where he was a Foundation scholar and 
went on to pursue a distinguished career in the City, 
in merchant banking. In his spare time he found the 
energy to produce work of outstanding quality cover- 
ing the entire range of the English Medieval coinage. 
His many publications and papers brought order and 
understanding to previously often intractible areas of 
study. It is largely due to this work that Medieval 
historians have grown to appreciate the value of 
numismatics as a valid and scientific tool for research, 
crucial in periods of time when written records are 
sparse or non-existent. His outstanding work during 
the last twenty years was on the coinage of the tenth 
century, but scholarship is greatly indebted to him for 
his work as editor, since 1958, of the British Academy 
series, the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles, of which 
he was one of the original instigators as well as joint 
author of four of the volumes. The series includes 
Ancient British, Anglo-Saxon and Norman Coins in 
West Country Museums, which covers the collections of 
the museums in Wiltshire, and is a valuable addition 
to museum publications in the county. As recently as 
1987 he was co-author of a paper entitled 'Some notes 
on the mints of Wilton and Salisbury'. 

He served as a committee member of many 
academic bodies, was President of the Society for 
Medieval Archaeology, the British Numismatic 
Society and the Royal Numismatic Society, and 
received many distinctions from learned societies at 
home and abroad. On the occasion of his 80th 
birthday a medal was subscribed to by a wide circle of 
his friends and colleagues in recognition of his major 
contribution to the study of numismatics, archaeology 
and history. It is perhaps the only medal struck this 
century commemorating a contemporary Wilt- 

Throughout his life Christopher Blunt maintained a 
particular interest in his home county of Wiltshire and 
its past, and for long was closely involved with the 
Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History 
Society. He served as a member of its Council from 
1965 to 1979 and was a Vice President and Trustee 

from 1980 until his recent death. He was also Chair- 
man of the Wiltshire Museums Council. He main- 
tained a keen interest and involvement in the Society's 
activities and in particular in the development of its 
museum. A thoughtful and generous benefactor both 
to the library and museum, he helped in particular to 
develop the collection of coins struck at the different 
mints in the county and also enabled the museum to 
acquire other items and coins. His most recent gifts, 
in 1987, were a counterfeit penny of William I and an 
imitative sestertius of Claudius, both found in Wilt- 
shire, which he felt should be preserved in a museum 
in the county. His links with Salisbury and South 
Wiltshire Museum should also be stressed. He was a 
friend of long standing of the former Curator, Hugh 
Shortt, himself a learned numismatist, and was a 
benefactor to that museum too. He sincerely believed 
that it would have been to the advantage of both 
bodies to share a common future together. 

A tall, striking figure he willingly shared his wide 
expertise and experience both on committees and in 
individual friendships. Ever courteous and patient, he 
took delight in giving hospitality at Ramsbury to 
friends and scholars of widely ranging interests, and 
was a great encourager of the young. 

Ian Stewart, MP, has kindly allowed us to include 
here the text of the address which he gave at the 
memorial service at St James's Church, Piccadilly on 
5 January 1988. 

We have heard today of the personal qualities 
that Christopher Blunt brought to all he did - 
modesty and tact, patience, generosity and 
thoughtfulness. Nowhere were these qualities 
more evident than in the subject of his lifelong 
intellectual passion, the study of coins. Those 
whom he met at numismatic gatherings, or with 
whom he corresponded, quickly became his 
friends. Scholars and collectors, professors, and 
schoolboys, were made equally welcome by 
Elisabeth and Christopher with their peaceful 
and civilized hospitality at Ramsbury. I think I 
was fifteen when I first went there to stay, and 
was astonished that Christopher should be inter- 
ested in my immature opinion on a subject on 
which he had long been the acknowledged 
expert. As I got to know him better, I realized 



that one of his greatest virtues as a scholar was 
the care with which he weighed every idea and 
theory, and the respect he accorded to the views 
of others. The academic world is not without its 
harshness and its rivalries, but Christopher's 
whole approach was constructive, diplomatic and 
above all unselfish. 

Purely as a scholar, Christopher Blunt was 
outstanding in his field. His publications 
extended over a period of more than 50 years, 
and he virtually rewrote the history of two 
centuries of Anglo-Saxon coinage. His work was 
accurate, thorough, perhaps a little on the cauti- 
ous side, always reliable and balanced. He had 
what is often taken as the sign of genius - an 
infinite capacity for taking pains. In a lifetime of 
specialisation quite a number of scholars may 
achieve in their own fields as much as Christo- 
pher did in English numismatics, although few of 
them indeed without a university education or 
with a separate career. But what placed Christo- 
pher Blunt outside the normal run, even among 
the select band of those who achieve equivalent 
distinction, was the way in which he held his 
whole subject together, planning for its develop- 
ment and future, raising standards as an editor, 
presiding, directing, counselling in its learned 
societies, circumventing difficulties, all the time 
keeping things moving surely forward. To the 
practicality of the banker and the dedication of 
the scholar were added those attributes of 
manner, discretion, integrity and judgement that 
endow those few who possess them with natural 
authority and the trust of all those who work with 

It was an irresistible combination. Christopher 
would have excelled at almost anything to which 
he had chosen to devote himself single-mindedly. 
It was the good fortune of many here today that 
his choice fell upon English numismatics. And I 
am sure that it repaid him. I do not mean in the 
way of the numismatic offices and honours that 
came his way - indeed he added more lustre to 
them than they to him. I mean in the friendships 
he made, the contentment of his work, the fun of 
collecting, the stimulus of advancing knowledge, 
the pleasure he gained from raising the standards 
of his discipline in the eyes of archaeologists and 

All this was especially important to him during 
the last eight years. After the deep shock of 
revelations about Anthony and the loss of his 
beloved Elisabeth so soon afterwards, it was 

marvellous how he was able to absorb himself in 
his work. At an age when most people are easing 
up, he worked tirelessly to complete his book on 
tenth-century coinage, and although he did not 
see it published, he handed me the corrected 
proofs a few days before he died. They go back to 
the publishers today. 

His own work is done, and now it is for us to 
build upon it. The best way for us to show our 
gratitude, not only for what Christopher 
achieved, but for the manner of his doing so, is to 
do whatever we can to follow his inspiration and 
live up to his example, thankful for the privilege 
of having known that great and wise and lovely 

Naomi Corbyn. By the sudden death of Naomi 
Corby n in October 1987, the Society has lost one of its 
keenest members and most devoted helpers. She and 
her husband came to live at Stanton St Bernard just at 
the time when the Society's library was struggling to 
recover from the loss of Dick Sandell, and when the 
accumulated wisdom and detailed knowledge which 
he had embodied was having to be replaced and made 
available to future generations of readers by means of 
painstaking and time-consuming work on catalogues 
and reference files. It was also a time when the Society 
was facing formidable demands on its limited 
resources. At this juncture, Naomi Corbyn's offer to 
give regular unpaid help in the library was a godsend: 
she started in 1980, and was soon taking charge of the 
library every afternoon from Tuesday to Friday, thus 
enabling it to be open throughout the working week, 
as well as supplementing the Sandell Librarian's 
efforts in overhauling the backlog and reorganisation. 

From then until the day of her death she was an 
invaluable and utterly reliable member of the library 
staff. At two-o-clock sharp she would ride in on her 
moped, rain or fine, run up the stairs, divest herself of 
her mackintosh leggings and overall, and settle down 
quietly to work. Regular readers soon came to value 
the unassuming and resourceful way in which she 
invariably responded to enquiries and requests for 
help. This she was well equipped to do through her 
good background knowledge of the main fields 
covered by the library, especially archaeology and 
local history. 

She also had a lively concern for conservation, 
which found another outlet through the Council for 
the Preservation of Rural England: she represented 
the Society on the CPRE's Kennet Group (of which 
she was honorary secretary), and in turn represented 



the CPRE on the Society's Conservation and 
Amenities Committee. Her experience as a science 
teacher at Stafford High School for girls, and in 
bringing up four sons of her own, left her with an 
abiding interest in young people, shown in her sym- 
pathetic way of dealing with schoolchildren and 
students using the library, and also in her leadership 
of the Society's Junior Section and as secretary and 
organiser of its Field Archaeology Group; and there 
must be many individuals who owe their interest in 
field studies to one of the events which she led, and to 
her infectious enthusiasm. 

In 1986 she agreed also to serve on the Library 
Committee, and there seemed every reason to hope 
that her experience and shrewd judgement would help 
to guide library policy for many years to come. It was 
not to be, and it can hardly be expected that another 
such bonus of voluntary work combined with wide- 
ranging interests and enthusiasm will appear to fill the 
gap left by her death. Her passing should remind all 
friends of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural 
History Society of how much the Society owes to the 
help generously given over the years by the voluntary 
workers of whom she was a shining example. 

E.G.H. Kempson, MA, Member of the Society since 
1931, Trustee from 1977, President from 1961 to 
1964, and one of the Society's - and Marlborough's - 
most respected and interesting characters, died on 26 
May 1987 aged 85. Born on 4 June 1902 the son of 
Canon E.H. Kempson, Headmaster of King Edward 
School Isle of Man and later Suffragan Bishop of 
Warrington, he was a Foundation Scholar of Marlbo- 
rough College and Scholar of Clare College Cam- 
bridge. He took a First Class degree in Mathematics 
and after a short spell at Charterhouse returned to his 
old school where he was an Assistant Master from 
1925 to 1967 and College Archivist for the next five 
years. He also took an active part in the life of the 
Town being on the Town Council from 1941 to 1948 
and Mayor in 1947, Chairman of Savernake Hospital 
at the time of the introduction of the National Health 
Service and a past Chairman of the Board of Gover- 
nors of the Grammar School. 

Although his interests were wide, including music, 
art and printing, his memory will be cherished in 
particular for two differing and deep ones: the love of 
mountains - he himself was a member of the 1935 and 
1936 Everest Expeditions - so infectious that it 
inspired generations of boys, and an unrivalled 
knowledge of local history, one of the earliest and 
most fruitful examples of which was his discovery and 

rescue of the St Mary's Vicar's Library. By good 
fortune he was a Marlborough Town Councillor when 
in 1942 at the height of the salvage campaign he was 
shown a collection of old books in the Town Hall, 
about to be set aside for pulping, and recognised their 
historic value. He recreated the library with devotion 
and skill and it now has an honoured place in the 
Bodleian Library. So alive was the past to him, that 
no aspect, however humble, failed to interest him as 
was well shown in his lectures on local history and the 
fascinating records of his researches in answer to his 
own curiosity and the many requests for information 
from others. 

Modesty and even self-deprecation, instead of 
being signs of weakness were sources of strength 
because of the firmness of the inner core of his being. 
Indeed, it was well said of him that he had a capacity 
to inspire respect and affection, to combine rigour 
with liberality, toughness and gentleness, scholarship 
with humour, and above all to generate a feeling that 
it was an honour to know him. 

All who knew 'G' appreciate how much he owed to 
Margaret, his wife, whom he married in 1939. With 
interests complementary to his own and therefore a 
stimulation to them, she gave him the secure home 
and support so necessary for the flowering of his own 
special gifts. 

This obituary ends fittingly with extracts from a 
tribute by Ken Annable. ^Scouring memory over 
thirty years, and though still meeting him in old age, 
my impression still remains of him as a person of 
abiding youth. In spite of his years, a liveliness, 
always infectious, and an enthusiasm within him was 
implicit, and maintained for the Society, the museum 
and the library. ... He was bookish . . . but the 
bookishness did not suffice of itself, but as a comple- 
ment to the activities, the whims and inclination of 
man within the landscape, and of the ebb and flow of 
nature itself. It was easy in the mind's eye to see "G" 
on his way to a Council meeting striding the library of 
the Marlborough Downs to its distillation amongst 
the recesses of the Society's own bookshelves.' 

Harry Townsend, BA, who served the Society as 
Secretary and Treasurer from 1973 to 1974 with 
characteristic enthusiasm, humour and ability, died in 
October 1987. 

Born in Cork in 1909, his childhood was spent in 
India where his father was employed in the Indian 
Civil Service. He returned to England for schooling at 
the age of eleven, and later won a scholarship to 
Shrewsbury. He went on to win a Regius Scholarship 



to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he obtained a 
First in Classics. 

Coming down from university during the slump of 
1933, and newly married to his wife Margaret, he 
found a job with the Greengate & Irwell Rubber 
Company, in Manchester. During the War he assisted 
the company in the production of barrage balloons, 
de-gaussing equipment and so on, and also found time 
to serve as a part-time fireman. 

Harry retired from the company, of which he was a 
director, at the age of fifty. He spent much of the next 
fifteen years in his native village, Castletownsend in 
Ireland, whose prosperity was much improved by the 
introduction of his self-catering holiday property 

The family moved to Wiltshire in 1968 and Harry 
was soon introduced to the Society by his old friend, 
Norris Thompson, then a member of its Committee. 
In 1973, he was persuaded to become Assistant to 
Brigadier Forbes, Secretary to the Society, upon 
whose retirement in 1974 he took on the combined 
duties of Secretary and Treasurer, and ably took the 
helm until the two separate posts were established. 

Among his numerous interests Harry enjoyed 
climbing and sailing; he became Chairman of the 
Theatre Club and skippered the Charlotte Dundas on 
the Kennet and Avon Canal. As a member of the 
Council for the Protection of Rural England, he 
monitored planning applications for development in 
his home parish of Urchfont. 

Harry remained a great supporter of the Society, 
and just before his sudden death had been planning 
which of the outings he would join in the spring. His 
lively company and infectious sense of humour will be 
greatly missed by his colleagues and friends. 

Margaret Waley, who died on 4 March 1988 at 
Amesbury Abbey in her 92nd year, was a remarkable 
representative of a remarkable generation. She was 
born in London in 1896 to a prosperous and culti- 
vated Jewish family where she acquired the wide- 
ranging intellectual interests which she maintained to 
the end of her life. Although she read Natural 
Sciences at Newnham, the delights of social life at 
Cambridge meant that she went down without taking 

a degree but with many lifelong friends. During the 
1914-18 War she worked for a time as a land girl and 
in 1920 married her second cousin, H.D. Waley, 
brother of Arthur Waley, the poet and sinologist. 
Living in London, they moved in Bloomsbury circles; 
her husband wrote books on aesthetics and studied 
the art of the cinema, eventually becoming Director of 
the British Film Institute. 

It was during the last war that they moved to 
Wiltshire to be with their three children, settling in 
Great Cheverell to escape the London bombs and to 
enable their son to attend Dauntsey's. Wiltshire was 
to remain their home, apart from a spell in Yugoslavia 
with UNESCO immediately after the war, and it was 
here that Mrs Waley's interests blossomed and 
flowered. Many of these centred on Great Cheverell 
itself: she compiled the church guide, and the unpu- 
blished 'Great Cheverell, a Retrospect' is extensively 
quoted in the Victoria County History. A fascinating 
study entitled 'A Very Ordinary Village House, or See 
How They Grow' appeared in WAM in 1982. 
Although not an active feminist, Mrs Waley was a 
great admirer of Winifred Holtby. She contributed an 
introduction to a new edition of Land of Green Ginger 
and even wrote a life which failed to find a publisher, 
allegedly because of a lack of scandalous revelations! 

Her husband died in 1968 but Mrs Waley remained 
in Great Cheverell until 1982 when increasing physi- 
cal infirmity necessitated a move to Amesbury Abbey. 
Here she collaborated with a fellow resident, Mrs 
Margaret Fisher, on a history of the Abbey and 
continued to hunt for fiendishly obscure literary 
quotations in the pages of Nemo's Almanac. Some 
research on Smith's Charities is now deposited with 
Guildford University and she was providing advice 
about the relationship between the Sumerians and the 
Jews up to the end, for she was an indefatigable 
correspondent. She took continuing delight and inter- 
est in the doings of her family, particularly perhaps 
when her son Daniel became Keeper of Manuscripts 
at the British Library, and her 90th birthday was a 
memorable occasion as she presided like a matriarch 
from her wheelchair over her three children, eight 
grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. 
She will be remembered with much affection and 
much admiration. 


NOTE: Wiltshire places are indexed under civil parishes. 

Acreman, John, 137 

affray, at Salisbury (1610), 99-114 

Aldbourne, 164, 165, 183, 184, 194, 200-1 

All Cannings: Chandler's Lane, 184 

Allen, Mr, Devizes apothecary, 136 

Allington: Boscombe, 109, 113 

Alton, 177 

amber artefacts, from excavations, 49, 51, 61, 63, 64 

Amesbury: barrow G132, 19, 21, 22, 34, 36, 39-41; barrow 

G133, 19, 21, 22, 23, 34-9; King Barrow (G30), 176; possible 

villa, 89; Vespasian's Camp, 176; see also Stonehenge 
Anderson, M.D., 96-7, 98 

Arbor Low, Derbyshire, cove, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 
Ashbee, Paul, review by, 187-8 
Ashby, Richard, 112 
astronomy, coves used in, 6-7 
Aubrey, John, 1, 8, 14, 162, 164, 188, 196 
Avebury: Beckhampton, 138; Beckhampton Avenue and cove, 

2-14; Kennet Avenue and possible cove, 2, 3, 14; North 

Circle, cove, 1-13; West Kennet, 180, 183 
Avery, Dr, of Beanacre, 134 
Avon (Salisbury), River, 152, 173, 189 
Awdry, Ambrose, 121, 129; Jeremiah, 121; John, 121 

backlands, medieval urban, 178 

Bacon, Sir Francis, 106, 107, 108, 111 

Badeni, June, note on Norton Manor, 167-9 

Badminton, Somerset: Norwood Lodge and Park, 131, 132, 133 

Baily, Charles, 128 

Baker, Francis, 137 

Bardswell, M., 94,96 

Barrett, Richard, 104, 109, 113 

Barrowe, John, 107, 109, 113 

barrows, chambered long, 7, 10-11, 15, 16; 

round, excavations, 19-76, 176, 177, 181 
Bath, 120, 125, 127, 131, 135, 136, 138, 139 
Baunton, Glos, 95 
Bay don, Ermin Way, 184 
Bayley, Justine, specialist report by, 66-8 
Beach, George, 99, 102, 103, 106, 109, 111, 113 
Beavan, John, 123 

Bell, Lynne S., specialist report by, 68-75 
Bennett, Richard, 107 
Berwick St Leonard, 163 
Bettey, J.H., review by, 200-1 
Bignor, West Sussex, 88 

Birchanger Farm, lead coffin excavated, 156-7, 184-5 
Bishops Cannings, 183, 184 
Bishopstone (North Wiltshire), 183, 184 
Blunsdon St Andrew, archaeological sites, 176, 183, 185 
Blunt, Christopher Evelyn, obituary, 202-3 
Bollow (Great Bollow), Somerset, 118, 131 
bone, animal, 30-1, 55, 58, 63, 66, 176, 180 
boundary stone, Iron age, 182 
Bowles, John, 109, 113, 114 
Box: Kingsdown, 136; The Wilderness, 170-1 
Bradby, Edward, paper on Thomas Smith's diary, 115-41 
Bradford-on-Avon, 120, 121, 122, 130, 135, 138; Belcombe 

Croft, 171; Woolly, 136 

Brathwaite, Thomas, 108, 109, 113 

Bratton: Birchanger Farm, 156-7, 184-5; Vicarage Field, 184 

Breach, John, 125, 139 

Bridgeman, Sir John, 132; Thomas, 136, 137 

Brislington, Avon, 88 

Bristol, 121, 136, 160, 161, 162 

Brocke, W., 103 

Bromham: Chittoe Heath, 184; Mother Anthony's Well, 89; 

Nonsuch House, 120, 124, 131, 137, 138; Spye Park, 122; 

West Park Field, 89 
bronze artefacts, from excavations, 61, 63, 65, 66, 183-4 
Broughton Gifford, 122, 137 
Brouncker family, 118 

Browne, Henry, 9; Marion, paper on moles, 147-55; Sue, 190 
bulla from Devizes, 157-8 
Burl, Aubrey, paper on coves, 1-18; work reviewed, 187-8 

Cairnpapple, Scotland, cove, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15 
Calne Without: Bowood Park in, 89; Calstone in, 183, 184; 

Nuthills in, 89; Sandy Lane in, 89, 138, 178; Sprays Farm, 

185; Studley in, 89; Whetham, 122 
Calway, Jane, 137 
Carbrooke, Norfolk, 158 
card-cheating, 104—5 
Carew (Carey), Matthew, 112 
Car ex spp., 173 

Carrent, Edward, 99-104, 106, 108, 109, 111; Susanna, 111-12 
Carter, Anthony, 100, 101, 103, 109, 112, 113 
Cartwright, Daniel, 100, 103, 107, 108, 109, 113 
castle: Devizes, 157-8; Old Sarum, 177-8; Trowbridge, 178-80 
Castlerigg, Cumbria, possible cove, 1, 2, 3, 11, 13, 15 
Catscliffe (Catsley), Dorset, 118, 131, 132 
Cecil, Robert, 104, 107, 109, 113 
'Chalk and cheese', note by Gregory C. Smith, 164-7 
Chaloner, Elizabeth, 118 
Charles II, King, 8, 160 
Charlwood, Surrey, 96 

Cherhill, Roman mosaic excavated, 77-83, 89, 90 
Cheyne, Dr, physician of Bath, 135-7 
Child, John, 122 

Chilton Foliat: Chilton House, 183 
Chippenham, 128, 133, 135, 161, 176, 199 
Chippenham Without: Sheldon Manor, 176 
Chitterne, 180; Copehill Down, 176-7 

Christ, portrayed on mosaics, 82, 83; on wall-paintings, 95, 96 
Christopher, Saint, portrayed on wall-paintings, 94—6 
Churchouse, George, 99, 102, 103, 106, 110, 111, 113 
Chute, 183, 184 
circles, stone, 1, 3, 6, 15 
Cirencester, Glos, 82, 88, 95; see also Connium 
Cirsium dissectum, 173 
cistern, medieval, 179 

Clarendon Park, 19, 104; barrow G5, 19, 21; Petersfinger, 152 
Clifford, Simon, 102, 103, 109, 110, 113, 114 
Clyffe Pypard, 184 
Cockthorpe, Oxon, 112 
Codford, 152, 184, 192 
coffins, Roman, 156-7, 177 

coins, Iron age, 184; Roman, 79, 184-5; medieval, 185, 186 
Colbourn, Mr, candle-seller of Chippenham, 135 
Colerne: Lucknam, 120, 121, 133, 134, 137 



Collingbourne Kingston, 184, 185 

conservation of unimproved grassland, 172-5 

Corbyn, Naomi, obituary, 203^4- 

Corneld, Mike C, 62, 63, 90 

Conmum, CORINIAN, 82, 83, 88, 89 see also Cirencester 

Corscombe (Croscombe), Dorset, 131, 132 

Corsham, 136; Gastard, 185; Jaggards, 122, 138; Lake, 150; 
Neston Park, 120 

Cottered, Herts, 95 

Coulthurst, Henry, 122, 125, 135; Mary, 135 

coves, architecture, 5-6; associated monuments, 6; astronomy, 
use in, 6-7; and chambered long barrows, 7-8; date, 8, 10; 
definition, 3, 5; excavations, 8-10; functions, 10-12; inven- 
tory of, 12-17 

Cowan, Michael, review by, 191-2 

Coxeter, Mr, friend of Thomas Smith, 122, 129, 134 

Coxhead, John, 121 

Crosse, George, 99, 100, 102-105, 107-109, 112-114; Margaret, 
105, 110-11, 113; Thomas, 105, 113; Thomasin, 110-13; 
William, senior, 110; William, junior, 99-114 

Crowfoot, Elisabeth, 62 

Crowley, D.A., work reviewed, 188-9 

Cundick, William, 122, 130, 133, 134 

Cunnington, William, 21, 43, 44, 48, 51, 55, 58, 63, 65, 115 

ers, Bronze Age, 55, 61, 62, 177 
Dalby, John, 127 

Daniel (Daniell), William, 99, 102, 103, 106, 109, 110, 113 
d'Arcy, John, review by, 196-7 
Dauntsey, 186 
de Puy, Raymond, 157-8 
Delair, Justin B., review by, 189-90 
Dennis, Edmund, 108, 109, 113 
Devizes, 132, 136, 138, 146, 160, 161, 162, 164, 189; Barracks, 

189; Castle, 157-8; Green, 131; St James's Church, 184; St 

John's Churchyard, 157 
Dialect in Wiltshire, by Malcolm Jones and Patrick Dillon, 

reviewed, 192-5 
Dillon, Patrick, work reviewed, 192-5 
dining habits, 18th century, 134-5 
Dionysus, portrayal on mosaics, 82 
Dorchester [Dumovaria), 82, 83 
Double Harness, by Robin Tanner, reviewed, 197-9 
Downton: Barford Park Farm, 183, 184; Trafalgar, 152 
duelling, illegal, 104 
Durrington: Durrington Walls, 188; Stonehenge Road, 184 

East Coker, Somerset, 82, 83 

East Coulston, 185 

Easterton: Willoughbys, 171 

Edington, 184, 185, 186, 196-7 

Edmgton Cartulary, edited by Janet H. Stevenson, reviewed, 

Edmonds, Robert, 113 

Edwards, John, paper on Lydiard Tregoze wall-painting, 92-8 
El Djem, Tunisia, 89 

Enford: East Chisenbury, 185; Long Street, 184 
Er-Lannic, Brittanv, doubtful cove, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 15 
Ernie, John Kyrle, 122, 136 
Etchilhampton, 177 
Everid (Newman), James, 113 
Eyre, Thomas, 102, 113 

Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 1541-1857, vol.6, by John Le Neve, 

reviewed, 195-6 
Figg, Matthew, 99, 103, 106, 113 
Figheldean: Manor Farm, 186 
Findlay, D.C., 54; work reviewed, 189-90 

fishpond, medieval earthworks, 176 

flint artefacts, from excavations, 30, 33, 48, 58, 176, 177, 178, 

Ford, John, 103, 113; Thomas, 100-4, 107, 109, 112, 113 
Fortescue, Aland, 131 

Foster, Anne, note on winter storage for bees, 169-71 
Fox, Rev Bohun, 122, 124, 129 
Frampton, Dorset, 82, 83 

Fraser, Jeremy, note on grassland conservation, 172-5 
Fnggle Street, Somerset, 118 
Fntillana meleagns, 173 

Frome, Somerset, 118, 127, 131, 132, 133, 160 
Froud (Froude), John, 99, 100, 103, 106, 108, 110, 113, 114 

Gale, Robert, 136, 137; Thomas, 130; W., 193 
Galium uhginosum, 173 
Game, Mary, 132 

garden earthworks, 18th century, 178 
Gauntlett, Christopher, 100, 103, 109, 113; Richard, 113 
Gibbs, Edward, 122, 130 

Gingell, Christopher, 176; report on Vatcher barrow exca- 
vations, 19-76 
Glass, John, 129, 135 
glass, Roman, 177 

Glastonbury, Somerset, 131, 132, 133, 200 
Goddard, Anthony, 133; E.H., 193; Richard, 130 
Goffe, Richard, 99, 109, 113 
Gorges, Sir Thomas, 111 

Graham, Alan H., 180; note on lead coffin, 156-7 
grassland conservation, 172-5 
Grately, Hampshire, 105, 111, 113 
Great Somerford, 119, 124, 132 
Guppy (Randolph), Margaret, 118, 124 

Hackney, London, 99, 102, 105, 107, 109, 112, 113, 114 

Hale, Hampshire, 99, 109, 113 

Hamptith, by Louis Hatch, reviewed, 190 

Hanham, Sir William, 120, 133 

Harris, Mr, Bradford-on-Avon apothecary, 122, 135, 136 

Harvey, Awdley, 128; John, 122; Mary, 122 

Hatch, Louis, work reviewed, 190 

Hatchwell, Richard, review by, 197-9 

Haycock, Lorna, note on Wiltshire in 1688, 160-4 

Haydon Wick, archaeological sites, 176 

hearths, Neolithic, 3, 5 

Heddington, 89 

Hele, Richard, 127 

henges, henge-like structures, 3, 12, 60 

Henshall, Audrey S., 39, 62 

Hidden, Norman, paper on 1610 Salisbury affray, 99-114 

Hidden, Roger, 99-113 

Highworth, 171; circles, 176 

Hill, William, 105, 109, 113 

hillforts, excavations, 176 

Hillman, Stephen, 132 

Hilmarton: Littlecote, 119, 130 

Hinton St Mary, Dorset, 82, 83 

Historv of Wiltshire, vol. 13, edited by D.A. Crowley, reviewed, 

Holcombe, Devon, 88 
Holmes, Robert, 113 
Holton, Thomas, 102, 109, 113 
Horn, Joyce M., work reviewed, 195-6 
Home, Laurence, 113 

'horseshoe' stone settings, Neolithic, 11-12, 16 
Horton family, 137; John, 122, 137 
Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Order of, 157 
How, Sir Richard, 130 



Howell, Danny, work reviewed, 190-1 

Hulett, John, 109, 113 

Hungerford, Berkshire, 104, 105, 109, 114, 163 

Hutchins, John, 109, 113 

Huttofte, Nicholas, 109, 113, 114 

Hyde, Anne, 160; D., 157; Edward, 163; Robert, 130 

ice-houses, uses for bees, 169, 171 

Ilchester (Lindinis), Somerset, 83, 88, 89, 132 

illness, in 18th century, 135-6 

inhumations, Neolithic, 181; Beaker period, 181; Bronze Age, 

25, 31, 33, 55, 66, 68-71, 73; Roman, 156-7, 177; Saxo- 

Norman, 179-80 
Ivie (Ivy), John, 99, 101, 102, 103, 106, 109, 111, 113 

Jackson, Gilbert, 101, 105, 109, 113; J.E., 115, 117, 127, 167 

James II, King, 160-4 

James, N.D.G., work reviewed, 191-2 

jet, artefacts from excavations, 64 

Johnson, Peter, report on Roman buidings, 77-91 

Jones, Isaac, 137; Malcolm, work reviewed, 192-5 

Jordan, William, 104, 107, 109, 113 

Joyner, John, 11 1 

Keele (Keale), Robert, 108, 109, 113 
Kempson, E.G.H., obituary, 204 
Kerridge, Eric, 164 
Keynsham, Avon, 88, 160 
King's Weston, Avon, 88 
Kington, John, 122 
Kington St Michael, 136; Priory, 159 
Kinnerley, Shropshire, 118, 132 
Knights Hospitallers, 157-8 

Lacock, 122, 135, 138 

landholdmg, 1739-1850, 164-7 

Langford, 108, 109, 113 

Langley Burrell Without, 159, 185, 186 

Lathy rus pratensis, 173 

Latton, Ermine Street, 186 

Lawes, Robert, 99, 103, 109, 113; Thomas, 109, 113 

Le Neve, John, work reviewed, 195-6 

Lewes, Edmund, 135 

Little Bedwyn: Chisbury, 176, 183 

Little Cheverell, 184; New Zealand Farm in, 192 

Littleton, Somerset, 88 

Locke, Richard, 101, 109, 113 

London, 107, 111, 133, 135, 136, 138, 139, 160, 161, 163 

Long, Calthorp, 133; Elizabeth, 135; Thomas, 122, 132, 134, 

Low Ham, Somerset, 83 
Lucas, Penelope, 118 

Lucy, Saint, portrayal on wall-paintings, 95 
Lullingstone, Kent, 88 
Lungworth, John, 118 
Lvdiard Tregoze: St Marv's Church, wall-painting, 92-8; Wick 

Farm, 177 
Lyneham: Clack, 137 

Macaulay, George, quoted, 163 
McKeever, Janice, reviews by, 190-1 
Maiden Bradley, 121, 146 
Maltby, Mark, 31, 55, 58, 63 
Manningford Bruce, Roman building, 77, 84-90 
Margaret, Saint, portrayal on wall-pamtings, 96 
Market Lavington, 134, 160, 164 

Marlborough, 129, 130, 137, 138, 161, 162, 165; Grammar 
School, 118, 128 

Marshman, John, 122 

Marshman, Michael, work reviewed, 196 

Martin, Saint, portrayal on wall-paintings, 96 

Mary, Virgin, portrayal on wall-paintings, 96-7 

Melksham, 118, 119, 122, 132, 133, 135; George Inn, 121, 123, 

130; local government in, 129-30; Place House, 119, 121, 122, 

129; St Michael's Church, 124, 125; Vicarage, 122 
Melksham Without: Beanacre, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 127, 

134; Daniel's Wood, 130, 133; Rhotteridge, 119, 122, 130; 

Sandridge Hill, 138; Shaw, 115-41 
Menyanthes trifohata, 173 
Mere, Mere Fault, 146 
Merewether, Dr, physician of Devizes, 136 
Meri vale, Thomas, 113 
Methuen family, 138; Mary, 135; Sir Paul, 122, 135; Thomas, 

121, 135 
Midmar, Scotland, 171 

Moggeridge, John, 113; Leonard, 100-3, 106, 108, 111-13 
moles, 147-55 

Monkton Farleigh, 121, 123, 133, 134, 139 
Monmouth and Buccleuch, James Scott, Duke of, 160-1 
Moore, Richard, 109, 113; Stephen, 161; William, 160 
Morgan, Edward, 100, 109, 113; Morice, 161 
Morris, Christopher, 109, 113 
mosaics, Roman, 77-91; Cherhill, 77-83; Christian allegories, 

83; hunting dog motif, 79, 81, 82, 83; Manningford Bruce, 

Mount Pleasant, Dorset, cove, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15 
music, in 18th century, 136 

Nature Conservancy Council, 173, 174, 175 

Neale family, 115; J. A., 136; Ralph, 102, 104, 107, 109, 113, 

114; Robert, 132 
Neptune, portrayal on mosaics, 82 
Netheravon, 89, 184 
Newbury, Berkshire, 138, 139, 164 
Newman, James, 109, 113 
Nicholas, Anne, 118; Robert, 118, 122 
Norris family, 120-1, 129, 131, 134, 138; John, 120; Mary 

(Maud), 120; Selfe, 138; William, 120 
North Tidworth: North Manor Farm, 186 
Norton; Norton Manor, 167-9 
Norton Bavant: Mootlebury, 177 
Norwell, Robert, 109, 113" 
Norwood Park, Somerset, 118 

Ogbourne St Andrew, 183, 184, 185, 186 

Oliver, Robert, 109, 113 

Ophioglossum vulgatum, 173 

Orchis mono, 173 

Orpheus, portrayal on mosaics, 82 

ossuarium, Roman, 177 

Oxford, 127, 137, 164; Oriel College, 127-8 

Paine, Edward, 132 

Paradice, Mr, of Devizes Green, 131 

Parker, Joachim, 102, 113 

Parsons, John, 108, 109, 113 

Penruddock, Anthony, 99, 102-3, 109-10, 113; Sir Thomas, 

103, 109, 113 
Pewsey: Sharcott, 184; Vale, 177, 189 
phallus, chalk, 30 
Pierson, John, 109, 113 
Pitton and Farley, Bells Farmhouse, 186 
Plain soldiering, by N.D.G. James, reviewed, 191-2 
Plantago spp., 173 
Pollard, Dr John, 131, 132 
Ponting, C.E., 92, 94, 95, 96, 97 



Pope, Ezekiel, 132; John, 132 

Potterne, 160, 161; Blackberry Lane, 183; Little Chilsbury, 183 

pottery, Neolithic, 38, 39, 40-1, 57, 176; grooved ware, 39, 176; 
Beaker, 27, 29, 39, 54, 57, 63; Bronze Age 27-30, 31, 36-8, 
44, 47, 48-9, 51, 54, 57, 58, 63, 65, 176, 177, 180, 184; Late 
Bronze Age, 29, 30, 31, 33, 45, 46, 47, 50, 51, 57, 58, 63, 66, 
183; Iron Age, 45, 177, 180; Romano-British, 29, 30, 33, 38, 
39, 45, 46, 47, 50, 51, 54, 57. 58, 63, 66, 78, 84, 176, 177, 
178, 184; Saxon, 185; medieval, 29, 30, 78, 176, 178, 186; 
post-medieval, 78, 178; 19th century, 65 

Poulsom, Benjamin, 137; Isaac, 129, Jacob, 137 

Priest, Mr, Bath organist, 127, 136 

Provest, John, 99, 102, 103, 109, 113 

Provis, A., 167, 168 

Purton, 128; College Farm, Purton Stoke, 160; North View 
Hospital, 177 

Puxton, John, 101, 104, 108, 109, 111, 113, 114; Mrs, 113 

Puy, Raymond de, 157-8 

Ramsbury, 118; Ashlev Piece, 186; Back Lane, 177; Swandown, 

Axford, 185 
Randolph (Guppy), Margaret, 118 
Raunds, Northants, 95 
Ray, William, 109, 113 
Reading, Berks, 121, 138, 163 
Redlynch: Hamptworth, 190 
revolution, 1688, 160-4 
Richardson, Joan, 112; Thomas, 107 
Ridgeway, 177, 184 
ring-cairns, 3 

Roberts, Ann, 112; Robert. 101, 102, 104, 109, 112, 113 
Robinson. Paul, note on a bulla from Devizes, 157-8 
Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, 158 
Rogers, K.H., review by, 188-9 
Rogers, Norman, review by, 192-5 
Rolfe, Mr, anatomist, 123 
Rolt, Edward, 122 
Ruffell, Alastair, paper on Warminster bypass stratigraphy, 

Rumex spp., 173 
Rushall, 89 

Sadleir, Francis, 122 

St Dominick, Cornwall, 171 

St Michael's, Aldbourne, by Frank West, reviewed, 200-1 

St Stephens, Kent, 171 

Salisbury, 127, 130, 160-4, 165, 178; excavations, 177-8; Harn- 

ham, 148; Old Sarum, 160, 177; riotous affray at, 1610, 

99-114; Stratford-sub-Castle, 102 
Sanguisorba officinalis, 173 
Saunders, John, 109, 113, 114 
Scott, Benjamin, 128 
seal matrix, medieval, 159, 186 
Seend. 121, 125, 138, 146; Bell Inn, 161; Seend Green House, 

Selfe, Ann, 121; Cecilia, 121; Elizabeth, 120; Isaac, 1635-83, 

118; Isaac, 1663-1734, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 129, 133, 135, 

138; Isaac, d. 1714, 119; Isaac, son of Thomas, 128; Jacob, 

1620-1703, 118; Jacob, 1672-1730, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 

129, 133, 135; Jacob, 1695-1757, 120; Lucas, 120, 136; 

Margaret, 119; Mary, 121; Penelope, 135; Samuel, 120, 133; 

Thomas, 1674-1741, 120, 122, 127, 136; Thomas, b.1699, 

Senior, William, 113, 114 
Seymour, Edward, 121 
Shaftesbury, Dorset, 146 
Shalbourne: Oxenwood, 152; Mill House, 185 
shale artefacts from excavations, 61, 63 

Sharpe, William, 114 

Shaw House in Melksham Without, 1 1 5 — 4- 1 

Shepton Mallet, Somerset, 131, 161 

Sherborne, Dorset, 131, 134 

Sherfield, Henry, 103, 106, 108, 109, 111 

Shrewton, 146, 152 

Sidnam, Richard, 114 

Silawn silaus, 173 

Smith, Anne, 136; Elizabeth, 1678-1720, 127, 136; Elizabeth 
(Bet, Betsy), 1701-1771, 127, 136, 137, 138; Gregory C, note 
on landholding and religious nonconformity, 164-7; John, 
122, 127, 134, 136, 137; Margaret (Peggy), 121, 125, 127, 
134, 136, 137, 138, 139; R.J.C., 180; Robert, 102, 113, 114, 
118; Thomas, 1630-1674, 118; Thomas, 1674-1723, diarist, 
115-41; Walter (Watty), 127, 128, 129, 134, 137, 138; 
William, reviews by, 195-6, 199-200 

Soils in Wiltshire 2, by D.C. Findlay, reviewed, 189-90 

Somner, Edward, 121 

Song of Solomon, portrayal in wall-paintings, 97 

South Tidworth, Hampshire, 109, 113 

Sowden, Roger, 128 

stagecoaches, 18th century, 138 

Stanesby (Stansby), William, 105, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114 

Stanton Drew, Avon, cove, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15-16 

Star Chamber, Court of, 99, 105-7 

Steeple Ashton, 125; Manor Farm, 185 

Steeple Langford: Hanging Langford Camp, 185 

Stenness, Scotland, cove, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 13, 15, 16 

Stevenson, Janet H., work reviewed, 196-7 

stone artefacts, Late Bronze Age, 30 

Stonehenge, 163, 187, 188; Avenue, 34; Cursus, 182; Heel 
Stone, 14; 'horseshoe' stone settings, 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 16 

Stonehenge People, by Aubrey Burl, reviewed, 187-8 

Stratton, Michael, review by, 196 

Stratton St Margaret, 176 

Stukeley, William, 1, 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 188 

Sundav observance by Thomas Smith, 124—5 

Swindon, 133, 138; Old Town, 178 

Talbot family, 130, 135; Anthony, 109, 114; John Ivory, 122; 

Sharington, 122 
Talpa europaea, 147-55 
Tanner, Robin, work reviewed, 197-9 
Taylor, Anne, 121 

Terry, Alison, note on a medieval seal matrix, 159 
textile from excavations, 39, 62-3, 177 
Thamesdown Archaeological Unit, 176, 177, 178, 182 
Thomas, Anne, 118 
Thompson, Luigi, 81, 84 
Thomson, Rodnev M., work reviewed, 199-200 
Thresher, Elizabeth, 120, 138 
Tidcombe and Fosburv: Scots Poor, 183 
Tisbury, 188, 189; Wardour, 160, 161, 188 
Tollar Wylme, Dorset, 118, 131, 132 
Tollard Royal: Woodley Down, 183 
Tooker (Tucker), Giles, 114 
Townsend, Harry, obituary, 204—5 
travel in 18th century, 137-9 
Trott, Martin, 21 

Trowbridge, 121, 160, 193; Castle, 178-80 
Trust for Wessex Archaeology, 176, 177, 178, 180, 181, 182 
Tuck, John, 131 
Tutt, Alexander, 102, 103, 105, 114 

Underdo wn, David, 164 
Upavon, 89, 183-1, 185, 186 

Valeriana dwica, 173 



Vatcher, F. de M. and H.L., excavations by, 19-76, 180 
Victoria History of Wiltshire, vol.13, reviewed, 188-9 
village earthworks, medieval and later, 176, 177, 182 
Vymng, John, 109, 114 

Waley, Margaret, obituary, 205 

wall-painting, Lydiard Tregoze, 92-8; closed door motif, 96-7; 

descriptions, 92-4; enclosed garden motif, 97; St Christopher 

motif, 95-6; walled town motif, 96 
Walhs family, 137; Ezekiel, 120, 121 
Walters, Bryn, report on Roman buildings, 77-91 
Wanborough: Lotmead Farm, 185; Upper Wanborough, 185 
Wansey, George, 162, 163 

Warminster, 142, 160, 162, 163, 164; bypass, 142-6, 177 
Watson, Edmund, 109, 114 
Webb, Daniel, d.1678, 119, 121, 136; Daniel, of Monkton 

Farleigh, 121, 123, 133, 134, 139; Elizabeth, 119, 125; 

Margaret, 127, 131, 136; Mary, 121; Robin (Robert), 137, 

139; Sir William, 99, 110, 113, 114 
West, Frank, work reviewed, 200-1 
West Ashton, 180 

West Dean, 88, 99, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 
West Lavington: Strawberry Hill, 180-1 
West Overton, 182; barrow G19, 181-2; North Farm, 181-2 
West Tisbury: Hatch, 163; Pythouse, 188 
Westbury, 160, 161; Birchanger Farm, 184-5 
Whaite, H.C., 94, 95, 96 
Wheeler, Adam, 160 

Whispering Knights, Oxon, possible cove, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 16-17 
Wickham, Mr, Frome lawyer, 132 
Widford, Oxon, 96 
William of Edington, 196-7 
William of Malmesburv, by Rodney M. Thomson, reviewed, 


Willoughby, John, 114 

Wilton, 114, 130, 163, 165 

Wilton, Edward, 115 

Wiltshire Rescue Archaeology Project, 176, 178 

Wiltshire Trust for Nature Conservation, 173, 174, 175 

Wiltshire Village Book, by Michael Marshman, reviewed, 196 

Winchester, Hants, 132, 186; Cathedral, 96 

Wingiield: Church Farm, 186 

Winterbourne Stoke, 19; barrow G32, excavation, 19, 21, 22, 
41, 43-5, 46; barrow G33, excavation, 19, 21, 22, 23, 41, 
45-7, 48; barrow G38, excavation, 19, 21, 22, 23, 41, 47-50, 
51, 68, 69, 73-4; barrow G39, excavation, 19, 21, 23, 41, 48, 
50-5, 68, 74-5; barrow G41, 48; barrow G46, excavation, 19, 

21, 22, 23, 41, 55-8, 66-8; barrow G47, excavation, 19, 21, 

22, 23, 41, 55, 58-63, 66-8; barrow G49, excavation, 19, 21, 

22, 23, 41, 55, 63-5, 66; barrow G50, excavation, 19, 21, 22, 

23, 41, 55, 61, 63, 65-8, 69, 75; barrow G66, 49; Cursus, 182; 
Glebe Road, 186 

Winterslow: Dunstable Pond, 185; Pheasant Inn, 185 

Withington, Glos, 82 

Woodford, barrow G12, excavation, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24-31, 68, 

69-73; barrow G13, excavation, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 31-3, 68, 

69, 73 
Wootton Bassett, 160; Woodshaw, 186 
Workman, Thomas, 167, 169 
Wright, Martha, 163 
Wroughton: Southleaze Farm, 182 
Wyndham (Windham), Sir William, 133 

Yerbury, Gifford, 118; Mary, 122 

Yesterday's Warminster, by Danny Howell, reviewed, 190-1 

Young, John, 114